What Happens at a Consultation with a Divorce Attorney in New Jersey?
Undergoing a consultation with a divorce attorney is often the first step when ending a marriage. This is an information-gathering session for the attorney and the client. If you have a consultation on the books, you might want to know what to expect. Find out how the process works so you will be prepared.
Consulting with a divorce attorney
Consultations generally take around an hour to complete. Afterward, clients can retain the lawyer, though people are not obligated to hire attorneys after consultations. Instead, people determine if the lawyer is a good fit. Thus, clients are encouraged to bring questions to ask while also answering the attorney’s inquiries.
Attorneys typically gather personal information about the parties and the marriage. First, attorneys need background information on all parties involved, including minor children. This includes names, social security numbers, addresses, and ages. Also, the attorney will want to know if a preliminary custody agreement is in place.
Attorneys also need information related to the marriage. This includes the date of the marriage and separation. Also, lawyers inquire about previous marriages. Finally, attorneys need the dates of the marriage and divorce. Attorneys will also ask the grounds used for divorce.
Clients can bring financial information to the consultation. This includes a list of assets and debts. At the least, the clients need to supply employment information for both parties. The information should include how much each person earns.
The consultation process varies from firm to firm. Thus, prospective clients can inquire about which documents to bring. For instance, some attorneys request tax returns and retirement account information. Bringing the documents can speed up the process.
Misconduct in the marriage
Many marriages end due to irreconcilable differences. However, marital misconduct breaks up unions as well. Attorneys ask if misconduct led to the breakup of the marriage. If so, clients are asked to provide information.
This is important for two reasons. First, attorneys use strategies to protect domestic abuse victims. This could include obtaining a temporary restraining order. Then, the abuser cannot contact the victim.
Second, marital misconduct can influence the outcome of the divorce. Misconduct is not one of the factors used when determining alimony. However, judges have some discretion. Also, martial misconduct impacts child custody orders. The court considers the safety of all parties when creating orders.
After reviewing the case, attorneys discuss possible paths forward with clients. Some clients choose arbitration or mediation. However, divorce litigation might be necessary. While attorneys provide recommendations, clients make the ultimate decisions. First, lawyers provide information to help decide. Then, attorneys formulate plans based on the decision.
A divorce attorney opens the floor for questions during consultations. Clients can ask questions regarding the divorce or the attorney-client relationship. For example, many people ask how long the case will take. Also, people inquire about the attorney’s fee structure. To ensure all questions are answered, clients should bring a list with them during the consultation.
Consulting with a divorce attorney
You will learn quite a bit about the path forward during your consultation. The time is yours, so feel free to ask questions. Also, bring the documents necessary to ensure the lawyer has the full picture. Then, you can get information about what to expect moving forward. At that point, you can take the next steps to file for divorce.
Call us at (732) 449-0449 for more information from Anthony J. Cafaro, P.C. or to schedule a consultation in our office in Sea Girt. NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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