Your marriage isn’t the same anymore.  You’ve grown apart, money is coming between you – there are endless reasons why couples don’t survive – and while it all may seem overwhelming and mentally exhausting, meeting with a divorce attorney doesn’t have to add to that stress.

If you decide you want to meet with a divorce attorney the first thing you need to do is schedule a consultation.  Remember, it’s just an initial meeting, a fact-finding session for both you and the attorney – you don’t need to retain the firm on the spot so there shouldn’t be any pressure.

Your initial consultation is going to include a lot of questions from the attorney but you should also be prepared to ask questions such as:

  • What is the difference between a divorce and a legal separation?
  • How will my assets be distributed – what’s protected now and later, what is subject for division?
  • What are the attorney fees?
  • Will I be entitled to child support?
  • Will I be entitled to spousal support/maintenance?
  • Am I entitled to any money above and beyond the standard and mandated distributions?

You should also expect the attorney to ask you questions.  They aren’t meant to interrogate you, but they are necessary to help give you a better understanding of what lies ahead.  Those questions may consist of:

  • When and where you were married
  • Your current finances
  • How many children you have, their ages and their relationships with you and your spouse

When you leave the attorney’s office you should feel comfortable that you have received the information you need to make an informed decision, not just about the future of your marriage, but also as to whether you would consider retaining the firm.

Expect your initial meeting to last about an hour, but don’t expect the attorney to follow up with you unless you explicitly ask them to do so.  It will be up to you to follow up with whatever attorney or firm you decide to retain.  No matter what you decide, make sure you do it with knowledge, trust and a clear head when making what could be a life-changing decision.