After making the tough decision to contact a divorce attorney regarding the divorce and after making an appointment to meet with the attorney, it’s natural to feel unsure of what to expect from a divorce consultation. Most Colorado Springs divorce clients have many questions about the divorce process, possible outcomes, and how Colorado law will ap[ly to their divorce case. These are all appropriate questions to ask during the initial consultation.
The primary purpose of the initial divorce consultation is for the prospective client and the potential divorce lawyer to meet to determine whether both the attorney and the client are comfortable working together. As a potential client, it’s essential to feel that you can trust your family law attorney and that there’s good communication between you and your family law lawyer. The initial consultation is an excellent opportunity for both the client and lawyer to determine if they can have a good working relationship during a sometimes difficult and contentious process.
What Questions Should I Ask at a Divorce Consultation?
You may feel apprehensive whether to ask your potential divorce lawyer about their licensing, education, or professional experience. However, you’ll pay a lot of money for legal services, so it’s crucial to ask questions before hiring an attorney to represent you. Common questions to ask a potential divorce lawyer include:
- Are you familiar with my state or county’s specific rules and laws in this case?
- Are you comfortable handling my divorce case?
- How long have you practiced family law?
- Who will I be in contact with throughout the divorce process?
- Will you handle my divorce case throughout the divorce process? If not, who will be and what are their qualifications?
- How often will you update me on the progress of my divorce case?
- Do you have experience with mediation?
- What should I expect if my divorce case goes to trial?
- How long have you been practicing Colorado divorce law?
It’s crucial for a divorce attorney to have as much information as possible so that he or she can accurately evaluate the divorce case and give the appropriate legal advice. And, if you were the person served with divorce papers, bring those papers to the initial consultation. This way the prospective attorney will review them and explain to you what your legal options are. At the first consultation meeting with a Colorado Springs divorce lawyer, it’s not required that you bring any other documents with you. The family law attorney will listen to you and ask questions to gain a better understanding of the circumstances of your case.
There will be enough time after the initial consultation for you to offer relevant legal documents to your divorce lawyer. While you need not bring divorce papers with you to the first meeting, there are some documents that you should bring to make the consultation more productive. For instance, if you and your spouse have a Prenuptial Agreement or Postnuptial Agreement, bring a copy of that to the initial consultation.
Most top Colorado Springs divorce attorneys will ask to see the document before the first meeting so that they can review it beforehand. Also, some divorcing clients like to bring the relevant financial documents to the first meeting, including bank and brokerage accounts and tax returns, so that the financial questions they have are addressed.
Do Divorce Attorneys Offer Free Consultations?
Many law firms and divorce lawyers offer one no-cost initial consultation per client. This consultation may be over the phone, in-person, or via Zoom. No law requires lawyers to offer free legal services to prospective clients. Thus, it’s crucial that you inquire about the cost before scheduling your initial meeting.
If an attorney offers a free initial consultation, this is your chance to meet with them and determine if that divorce attorney is an incredible match for your divorce case. Free consultations aren’t the place for extensive legal questions, so don’t go into an initial divorce consultation expecting the family law attorney to answer case-specific questions. When you decide to hire a divorce attorney, your first meeting once you sign the retainer agreement will include in-depth legal questions about your divorce case.
What Should Happen at the First Meeting?
Once you decide to hire a divorce attorney, you’ll sign an agreement that details your expectations and the attorney’s expectations. Further, you’ll sign a retainer agreement, which lays out the legal cost, details about who will work on your case, and billing procedures. For instance, divorce lawyers may have a team of paralegals and associates filing documents or researching your case in larger law firms. However, only the divorce attorney may appear in court on your behalf. But in smaller law firms, your divorce lawyer may be your only point of contact throughout the entire legal process.
After signing a contract, you can schedule your first meeting with your divorce lawyer. What happens at this meeting largely depends on the facts in your divorce case. Often, clients hire divorce lawyers after receiving divorce papers or filing for divorce. Other times, the spouses agree to a divorce and pledge to use a collaborative divorce process instead of an all-out “litigation”, which involves fighting in court. A client’s circumstances control the initial discussion and the steps the divorce attorney takes after the first meeting.
A client comes in with a list of questions regarding a looming or recently filed divorce. Most attorneys will review the various divorce processes available, including divorce mediation, collaborative law, or litigation, and describe the steps for each. From there, you and your divorce lawyer can decide what steps to take next.
Your divorce attorney needs to get to know you as a person and learn as much as possible about your spouse and children if you have any. During the first meeting, expect your divorce attorney to request a detailed information sheet, which contains all the information your attorney needs without having t call or email you. Because a divorce attorney depends on the accuracy of the information you provide, it’s essential you answer the attorney’s questionnaires and questions honestly and completely. Also, a divorce attorney should try to understand their client’s psychological and financial aspects to make any necessary referrals to divorce coaches, psychotherapists, financial planners, or estate attorneys for specialized advice.
Most experienced divorce attorneys work closely with other professionals to make sure all the client’s divorce-related questions are answered. Don’t forget that a divorce attorney can’t act as a psychologist or tax advisor, for instance, so it’s important that you hire the right professionals and keep your attorney informed.
Contact Brighter Day℠ Law Today for a Consultation!
Every divorce attorney hopes clients will leave their first divorce attorney consultation feeling that the divorce attorney heard and understood their concerns and that their divorce lawyer is tuned in to their specific needs. Also, after the initial divorce consultation, the client should view their divorce lawyer as accessible, competent, and experienced—someone who can guide them through the complex divorce matter.
At Brighter Day℠ Law, we pride ourselves on our informative initial divorce consultations, which usually start a successful attorney-client relationship that lasts throughout the divorce process. We strive to advise potential clients forthrightly so that they feel comfortable about what to expect from the divorce process in Colorado and so that they understand their legal options. To schedule an initial consultation, call our family law firm today at (719) 225-4443, or chat with us online to learn how we can help.