What to Expect in Your First Divorce Consultation

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What to Expect in Your First Divorce Consultation
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 10/2/2023

BLOGPOST_FirstDivorce10252021_s.jpgMeeting with an attorney for the first time can be scary. Most divorce attorneys know that emotions are high and will set the tone for the consultation right away to keep the conversation positive. You may have numerous questions but knowing what to expect is half the battle.

When you step into our office, you will be promptly greeted and escorted back to your attorney’s office. The first gesture is often less based in fact gathering and instead one based on emotional needs. How you are feeling is just as important in the legal profession as is the reason for your consultation. Divorce attorneys will try to help you get in the right frame of mind to move forward. Understanding your emotional state is the first step.

Once pleasantries and initial information collection are complete, our attorneys will typically let the client take the reins. Taking some time to self-reflect on what is important and – without limitation – allowing an opportunity to speak helps us understand what is relevant and a top priority. Now, sometimes these conversations need to be halted. Background information is always helpful, but too much background information can derail the discussion. In addition, Washington is a no-fault state, so focusing heavily on the faults of your spouse may not be the best use of time.

Now that we have a good understanding of the general situation, it is time to gather the necessary facts:

  1. When were you married?
  2. Have you separated? If so, when?
  3. Do you have children? How old? Do they have any special needs?
  4. Who is the primary care giver? Is the other parent substantially involved with the children? Do you anticipate fighting about a residential schedule?
  5. Where do you and your spouse work? Tell me about your income and benefits?

These are just some of the questions that will be answered in your first divorce consultation. Sometimes, we gather this information during your initial story, but other times your attorney will ask explicit questions to make sure everyone is on the same page. Knowing the facts is the only way your attorney can provide valuable advice.

Once your attorney has all the necessary information, the latter part of your appointment will be spent strategizing. At that point, you will be discussing options such as:

  1. Who is going to file for the divorce?
  2. Do we need to file a request to the Court asking your spouse to move out of the home?
  3. Do we need to seek help with attorney fees or ask for child or spousal support?
  4. Do we need Court intervention to help decide a residential schedule?
  5. What are options for valuing the assets and debts?

Answering these questions will provide both you and your attorney the opportunity to better understand the case. Additionally, you will be able to put together a plan of action and begin to estimate some of the anticipated costs. Lawyers sometimes have a bad stigma, but many attorneys work hard to understand their client's needs and provide fair and effective representation. If you need assistance with your family law matter, the experienced litigators at the law offices of Magnuson Lowell PS are here to help. Call today for a free telephone case evaluation.

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