If you’re considering divorce, the first thing you may want to do is consult with a divorce attorney who can assess your specific situation, advise you of your rights, and develop a strategy to move forward toward a new beginning. You may consider creating a list of questions you have in preparation for your initial consultation so that you can leave the consult with knowledge and peace of mind. In addition, having questions prepared in advance can help your attorney collect the facts to evaluate your case and form a clear plan of action.
Every divorce is unique. If you have children, you will want to ask your attorney questions such as:
Who will pay child support?
How much will child support be?
Who will get custody of the children?
If I don’t have custody, will I have visitation rights?
If you have property or debt jointly with your spouse, you should ask:
Who will get to keep the marital home?
Who has to pay the debts?
What does equitable division mean?
You should also consider financial obligations you may have to your spouse, and vice versa. Some concerns may include:
Who pays alimony (spousal maintenance)?
I’ve only been married a short time- can I still get alimony (spousal maintenance)?
Is my spouse entitled to my pension?
Can I make my spouse pay my attorney fees?
What happens if my spouse tries to hide assets?
You will also want to ask the attorney questions about the attorney’s role. You may consider asking:
Who will be working on my case?
How often will we communicate?
Will I be talking with you directly, or a paralegal?
How much is the retainer?
What is your hourly rate and how is it broken down?
Will there be additional fees?
Can I call you if there is an emergency?
What happens during the timeline of a divorce proceeding?
What different types of divorce options are there?
The above are only a few questions to ask during your attorney consultation. You may have many more questions, depending on the facts of your situation. In addition, as you will be sharing sensitive information with your divorce attorney as you go through a high stress time, it is important that you have counsel by your side with whom you feel comfortable and put your confidence in. The initial consultation gives both you and the attorney a chance to not only meet, but develop a strategy to move forward.
The Law Office of Jessica M. Semins is dedicated to providing compassionate and effective counsel that you can depend on for your matrimonial and family law matters. Jessica is available to represent clients in New York City, including Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island; Long Island, including Nassau and Suffolk counties; and Westchester. Consultations can be scheduled by calling (646) 397-6844. Consultations are by appointment only and can be scheduled at the Manhattan or Melville, Long Island office for the convenience of clients.
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