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Understanding the initial divorce consultation

On Behalf of | Aug 13, 2015 | Divorce

Virginia residents facing divorce may feel stressed and overwhelmed about starting the process. However, knowing what to expect during the initial divorce consultation could make the experience feel less daunting.

It is important for those seeking legal guidance during a divorce to feel comfortable with the attorney they are working with. A client should feel they are on the same page as their attorney regarding goals and expectations for their divorce case. If an attorney doesn’t feel like a good match, consult with another one. Open, honest communication is essential to obtaining an efficient and successful outcome to the case.

During the initial consultation, an attorney will obtain basic information about a client’s divorce case. The information will include contact information, such as the full names of both spouses, the names and ages of any children, phone numbers and home, business and email addresses. An attorney will also need insight into a divorcing couple’s financial situation, including incomes, assets and liabilities. A client should be prepared to provide information on bank and retirement accounts, investments, vehicles and more. They should also provide information on liabilities like mortgages, credit card debt and student loans.

After the attorney gains an overview of the case, he or she should go over any potential points of contention the client anticipates during the divorce process. This could include disputes over things like child custody, child support, spousal support, college tuition or property division. An attorney should also provide information on the types of alternate dispute resolution that are available. These resolution methods seek to solve disputes through mediation rather than through litigation. Finally, an attorney’s financial terms should be clearly outlined. A client should leave understanding the attorney’s hourly rate, their retainer fee and how often they will be billed.