So you have decided to bite the bullet and file for divorce. Now you need to decide if you want a lawyer or not. Lawyers are not cheap, costing hundreds of dollars an hour. However, if you expect a contested divorce or do not trust yourself to handle everything on your own, then having a lawyer on your side is well worth the cost.
However, finding the right family law attorney does not simply involve making a phone call and showing up to file paperwork. You will need to schedule a consultation, and you will need to be prepared.
Preparation is key. Here is what you need to do before your consultation.
Have Appropriate Documentation
Do not show up to a consultation with a family law attorney empty-handed. Ask the lawyer what you need to bring, but typically, you will need documentation such as bank statements, employment information, tax returns, credit card statements, mortgage information, information about assets and debts, and birth certificates (if you have children). You will want to bring as much financial information as possible.
Be Forthcoming With Information
Your lawyer is here to help you with the divorce, so do not lie or make things more difficult for them. Provide them with any information they need in a prompt matter. Be truthful to them. Do not ignore their requests. It may seem like they need a lot of information, but they require it to move your case along. Your case could be delayed if you do not comply, so be forthcoming with your personal information.
Make a List of Questions
You will want to have a list of questions. Do not expect to have everything memorized. Write everything down so you do not forget anything. Some questions to ask include:
- Caseload. Does the lawyer have time for your case? Some lawyers overschedule themselves and end up giving their cases to other lawyers. Make sure you know the lawyer’s caseload up front.
- Cost. How much does the lawyer charge per hour? What other expenses will you have to pay for? When and how do you make payments?
- Communication. Gone are the days in which you have to call the office and pray your lawyer is available to take your call. Emailing and texting have become the norm. There are also case management apps that allow you to communicate with your lawyer. Ask how your lawyer tends to communicate with clients.
- Strategy. Some lawyers want to collaborate, while others want to fight and go to court. You want to find an attorney you feel comfortable with. Figure out what your goal is with the divorce and find a lawyer whose strategy aligns with your goals.
Contact Us Today
Meeting a family law attorney for the first time can be nerve-wracking. What do you say? What do you do?
The Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins can help you get through this part. If you desire a divorce in Michigan, we will gladly answer your questions and help you feel at ease. To schedule a consultation, call 248-646-7980 or fill out the online form.