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How To Prepare For Your First Visit With A Divorce Attorney

Divorce attorney and client in first meeting; discussing divorce concerns over desk in conference room.

For individuals going through a divorce, hiring the right divorce attorney may be one of the most important aspects of the process. While working with professional representation is not a legal requirement for divorce, most authorities on the subject agree that seeking the advice of an experienced family law attorney as you approach divorce proceedings is a good idea. Many divorce lawyers do offer initial consultations prior to establishing an attorney-client relationship so that they, and their potential clients, can determine if working together will be a good fit. Once you have scheduled an first meeting with an attorney, you should prepare thoroughly to make sure you can get the most out of this meeting. While divorce attorneys are responsible for helping their clients navigate the divorce process, the client also has a responsibility to provide accurate, adequate information and documentation for their attorney. The New Hampshire divorce attorneys with Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC are prepared to help each client create a legal strategy that protects their needs and interests during divorce. Get in touch with us today by calling (603) 707-4800 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation.

What Does a Divorce Attorney Do?

Understanding the role of a divorce attorney before your first meeting can help you to prepare. Their primary objective is to advocate for the best interests of their client and strive toward a fair resolution of all divorce matters. Divorce attorneys provide legal advice, represent their clients in negotiations and court proceedings, and draft legal documents like divorce petitions, settlement agreements, and parenting plans.

Divorce attorneys help clients navigate various aspects of the divorce process, including property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. They also help their clients understand their rights and responsibilities under applicable state laws and advocate for favorable outcomes on their behalf. Beyond these legal aspects, a divorce attorney can provide empathetic support to help clients handle the emotional difficulties of the divorce process.

What Documents Should I Bring to a Divorce Attorney Meeting?

One of the primary goals of the first divorce lawyer meeting should be to provide the lawyer with a comprehensive overview of the situation, including all relevant documentation and information. Some items it may be a good idea to prepare in advance include:

Checklist of Essential Documents

Compile a checklist of essential documents to bring to the initial consultation. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements
  • Financial records
  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements
  • Real estate documents
  • Retirement account statements

Financial Records

Financial records for a divorce should be comprehensive and meticulously organized. Spouses approaching divorce can save some time and frustration later by ensuring that these are accurate and up-to-date. Categorize income, assets, debts, and expenses in a clear and organized manner. Having a comprehensive overview of the financial situation will assist a divorce attorney to quickly and effectively assess the case and provide tailored legal advice.

Child-Related Documentation

Financial records for a divorce should be comprehensive and meticulously organized. Spouses approaching divorce can save some time and frustration later by ensuring that these are ac

If children are involved, a spouse preparing for their first conference with a divorce attorney will wish to document relevant information such as established or planned custody arrangements, parenting schedules, and any existing court orders. Be prepared to discuss the needs of the children and their best interests during the consultation, as this information can be crucial in determining child custody and support arrangements. 

Gathering and organizing this information beforehand helps ensure a productive and efficient discussion with the divorce attorney. New Hampshire residents may also wish to consult the guidance of the New Hampshire Judicial Branch regarding divorces involving minor children. If you have further questions about what documentation to bring to your divorce attorney consultation, you can learn more by contacting the New Hampshire divorce lawyers of Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC.

curate and up-to-date. Categorize income, assets, debts, and expenses in a clear and organized manner. Having a comprehensive overview of the financial situation will assist a divorce attorney to quickly and effectively assess the case and provide tailored legal advice.

What Questions Should I Ask When I Meet With a Divorce Attorney?

Asking pertinent questions during your initial consultation with a divorce attorney can help you gain clarity and understanding about your case. Some key questions to consider include:

  • How can I file a divorce petition, as described by the New Hampshire Judicial Branch?
  • What are my legal rights and obligations during the divorce process?
  • How long do you anticipate the divorce process will take?
  • What are the potential outcomes of the case and what factors may influence them?
  • What is your approach to communication and case management?
  • What are your fees and billing practices?

Key Topics To Discuss With a Divorce Attorney

In addition to having a list of questions, clients should engage in a thorough discussion on key topics relevant to their case. These may include:

  • Legal strategies and options for achieving desired outcomes
  • Case-specific details like property division, spousal support, and child custody
  • Potential challenges or obstacles that may arise during the divorce process
  • Clarification on any legal terminology or procedures that may be confusing
  • Any additional concerns or questions 

Addressing Financial Concerns

Individuals attending their first meeting with an attorney should feel free to discuss any financial concerns or questions they have regarding the cost of legal representation, potential court fees, and other expenses associated with the divorce process. This meeting is an opportunity to seek clarification on the attorney’s fee structure, including hourly rates, retainer fees, and payment plans. Addressing financial concerns upfront allows you to make informed decisions about your legal representation and budget effectively for the divorce proceedings.

Understanding Legal Procedures and Options

During the initial consultation, a divorce attorney can help their prospective client understand the legal procedures and options available in divorce cases. Clients can use this meeting as a valuable opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of the process, including key stages such as:

  • Filing for divorce: Learn about the requirements and procedures for initiating divorce proceedings in your jurisdiction.
  • Discovery phase: Understand the process of gathering information and evidence relevant to your case, including financial disclosures and asset valuations.
  • Negotiation and settlement: Explore options for reaching a mutually acceptable agreement with the other spouse on issues like property division, spousal support, and child custody – without going to court.
  • Trial: Learn about the process of presenting the case in court if a settlement cannot be reached through negotiation.

A divorce attorney can also explain the different divorce options that may be available, including:

  • Litigation: Understand the traditional courtroom process where a judge makes rulings on contested issues.
  • Mediation: Learn about the process of resolving disputes with the help of a neutral mediator who facilitates negotiations between you and your spouse.
  • Collaborative divorce: Discover the collaborative approach to divorce, in which both spouses work together with their respective attorneys to settle without going to court.

By understanding these legal procedures and options, clients can make informed decisions about how to proceed with their divorces, and choose the approach that best fits their needs and circumstances.

Contact Our New Hampshire Divorce Lawyers

Beginning the divorce process can be intimidating and stressful. However, with legal guidance from the right divorce attorney, individuals approaching the divorce process may be able to increase their chances of reaching a favorable outcome with a minimum of stress. At Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC, our New Hampshire divorce lawyers are ready to help clients understand their options and what to expect from the process. Give us a call today at (603) 707-4800 to learn more in a free consultation.


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About the Attorney
Jesse Friedman

Jesse has personally represented thousands of clients throughout the State - from juvenile delinquency offenses through homicides. He has extensive trial and litigation experience and has obtained favorable outcomes for thousands of clients throughout the years.

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