Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Choosing a family law attorney, Part Three

Part Three 

Welcome back. In Part One, ways to search for your family law attorney were covered. Part Two addressed phone contact with your potential attorney. Part Three will cover what to expect in the in-person consultation.

Frequently asked questions: 

1. Should I bring anyone with me? What about things I should bring with me?
A: It depends. Some attorneys would prefer if you attend the appointment alone. There are reasons for this: for example, you will feel less embarrassed discussing personal details. And, any conversation with your attorney is privileged, but once a third party joins that conversation, where's the client's confidentiality?
However, if you feel you need moral support to go into the consultation, or that you are likely to forget things the attorney talked about, bringing another person might be a good idea.

As far as things to bring: any thing that has been filed with the court so far, if anything. And anything your attorney requests you to bring (tax statements, for example).

2. What kinds of questions should I ask? 
Feel free to ask anything you would like of your attorney about your situation. If your attorney brushes past your questions, ask yourself if you feel that your concerns will be treated with the importance they deserve or not. After all, the consultation is a decision for both you and the attorney- to decide whether you will continue this relationship.  If it feels as if your attorney is trying to offer you a "one-size-fits-all" case, don't continue after the consultation.

3.What kinds of topics will we cover? Why is this so personal?
Anything that affected your married life, and more, will be covered. The reason is because the court will have to make decisions on some of them as your case progresses

For example:
Topic:                                                                     Reason:
When were your children born?                              Eligibility for Child Support
How much is your house worth?                             If it is considered marital property, it will be divided
Where do you and your spouse work                     Which spouse might be ordered to pay support
       and how much do you earn?

4. What happens next? 
That depends on your situation. If you're just starting a divorce, initial filing with the county court where you live will be next. If you're already somewhere past the initial filing, a motion might be next to decide some of the open issues in your case.This is where the rubber hits the road, and your attorney gives you legal advice about your options in your current situation.

There are a lot of online resources about family law in various states. Some of them will not apply to your situation, so as with so many things you read online, take them with a grain of salt. If you still have questions about your situation, call your attorney again to ask.

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