It takes weeks, months, years, and sometimes, decades to get the courage to consult with a divorce lawyer. Once you schedule your first meeting, you’re often faced with “Well, what should I even talk about?” Whether you think so or not, everything is relevant. It is good to tell your back story and how you got here. We want to know your story.
When it comes to the legal side of a divorce case, however, some topics are more important than others. Below are the items a divorce lawyer is looking for in a consultation.
Are you living together?
If you are no longer living together, make sure you know how long you’ve been separated. Other important items are, who is living in the marital residence? Who is paying the household bills? Are there bills that are past due? If you don’t have an exit plan, what do you want to happen? Make sure you give your attorney all the nitty gritty details on what you want so the attorney can advise you accordingly.
Do you have kids?
Obviously, this is not a simple flow chart and many questions follow in the children category. Main points to address are what the parenting time schedule is, or, if you are not separated yet, what you want for the schedule. What your spouse wants. Who is paying for what? Is child support needed now? Starting with the main topics of custody, parenting time and child support will be a good guide for you and the attorney to follow.
Do I have to split it?
This is a common question in consultations. The short answer is, yes. It does depend on how long you were married and how much was invested before the marriage versus during the marriage. There is never a simple, black and white answer to any family law question. Be sure to ask away regarding any of your assets.
Every situation is different, and you may have more pressing issues, like the need for a protective order or getting your spouse to move out. One of you may have just received an inheritance that is at issue. There are numerous issues that arise and various questions each client has, and they are all different. Sticking to the issues of “who is paying for what”, a rough estimate of your assets and debts, and any child-related matters will serve as a great guide during your consultation.