While you may think initial consultations are simply a chance for people to get a basic idea of the a legal situation they might find themselves in, attorneys find these sessions incredibly helpful too––especially when potential clients come prepared with all the resources and information needed to get the most out of the meeting.
If you’ve never experienced a consultation before, they typically take about an hour to complete. During the meeting, you’ll share as much information with the attorney you’d like relating to the legal issue(s) you’re currently trying to work through.
For divorces or legal separations in particular, this can cover a wide range of legal issues depending on your personal situation.
In return, the attorney will inform you of your legal rights, the options open to you as well as what he or she thinks may be the most beneficial legal path to take.
To make sure you leave your meeting with a clear idea of what you need to do next, it’s important to take the time and prepare for the Wisconsin divorce consultation.
Preparing yourself for an emotional conversation
We understand that with any issue involving one’s family and spouse can be incredibly personal and emotionally charged––especially when separations occur. Preparing yourself mentally for the consultation is the very first step to ensuring it will be helpful both for you and the attorney who may be assisting you.
Specifically, it’s important to prepare yourself to talk about subjects you may not have talked about with others.
While it’s perfectly accessible to express your emotions when the conversation becomes difficult, acknowledging these emotions before you attend the consultation can make it go considerably smoother for everyone involved.
Come prepared to speak about your family’s assets and financial situation
Finances are a big factor of the divorce process for many couples, so being ready with any relevant financial information is crucial.
Assets might include bank accounts, vehicles, boats, homes, businesses, retirement funds and more. Debts can often play an even bigger role in the process, so come ready with any mortgage, credit card debt, equity loan, bank loan, or student loan figures.
Having solid numbers in front of you helps the attorney immensely in identifying any potential issues right off the bat.
The third piece of the financial puzzle is income information. Each person’s income plays a significant role in determining costs for child support, spousal maintenance, and also you or your spouse’s ability to pursue litigation if such a situation is likely.
Carefully outline your goals and desired outcomes
In most consultations, attorneys will often frame the discussion around your ideal outcome. Carefully considering the potential and likely results of your divorce will give your attorney to give you the best assessment of your situation they can.
Bring copies of any legal documents you’ve already obtained
If you’re in possession of any formal prenuptial (or postnuptial) agreements, divorce summons, order of protection or incident reports, make copies and let the attorney review them with you.
If you’re attending the consultation because you’d like to change counsel, create an outline of the progress you’ve made beforehand, and what events have occurred so far during the case. For those who are switching attorney’s bring any formal agreements or court orders that you’ve received so far.
As a final note, it’s important to keep in mind the confidentiality that comes along with working with an attorney, whether you’ve hired them to handle your divorce or not.
If you feel hesitant to reveal information you may not have revealed before, keep in mind that the more you’re able to give the attorney, the more effective they’ll be able to serve you.
If you’re seeking assistance with your divorce, contact an experienced Beloit Family Law firm, The Fitzgerald Law Firm, today for a free consultation. We understand that meetings may not be possible during traditional business hours, so please let us know a time that works for you and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
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