Divorce is a highly personal type of legal matter that involves entire families and – for many spouses – it may be the first time you need to consider hiring a lawyer to represent your interests. For these reasons, your choice in a Michigan divorce attorney will be critical. You need a legal professional with experience and in-depth knowledge; yet, you also want a lawyer that shows a suitable amount of compassion for your situation. You can learn a lot about a candidate during your first meeting with him or her, but only if you have an understanding about what to expect at the consultation. Some general information will help ensure this initial meeting is useful and productive.
How to Prepare for Your Consultation
By providing your lawyer with as much information as possible about your circumstances, he or she will be in a better position to understand and serve your needs in a divorce case. You should be prepared to provide any and all details related to your marriage, including paperwork where available:
- Your spouse’s full legal name and prior names, where applicable;
- Contact information for your spouse and his or her attorney;
- Information regarding your spouse’s primary employer, occupation and income;
- Other sources of income your spouse earns;
- All details regarding benefits, health insurance, and pension plan;
- Ownership information of your marital home, including the amount of the mortgage and whether you’re up to date on payments;
- A list of assets owned by your spouse, individually and jointly with you;
- Details regarding your debts, individually and with your spouse;
- Any previous marriages;
- The children you and your spouse share, as well as their ages;
- Children born outside your own marriage;
- Any history of domestic violence or misconduct; and,
- Other details that you think may be relevant to your case.
Information Your Lawyer Should Provide
During the initial meeting with your attorney, you’ll want to get details from him or her as well. You should ask about experience in Michigan divorce cases and knowledge about state law in divorce matters, because you want to make sure divorce is your lawyer’s primary area of practice. To find out, ask what percentage of the attorney’s clients is in the area of divorce.
In addition, make sure you understand how the lawyer will handle billing in your case. Usually, you’ll pay a retainer, an hourly rate for legal services, plus court costs and expenses. Keep in mind that a divorce court may require you to pay for your spouse’s attorney, or vice versa, where appropriate.
Make an Appointment with a Qualified Michigan Divorce Attorney Today
You can make the most out of the first meeting with your divorce lawyer when you properly prepare yourself and know what to expect. This initial session is important because you want to know that your divorce case is in good hands, and that you’re retaining an attorney that best suits your needs. With a matter as personal as divorce, a customized approach is just as important as legal knowledge and experience. For more information on divorce services, please contact Bloomfield Hills, MI attorney Michael A. Robbins. Our lawyers can set up a divorce consultation and answer questions about your circumstances.