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What to expect from your initial divorce consultation

If you are one of many North Dakota residents who have decided divorce is inevitable, you may be trying to find an empathetic and compassionate divorce attorney. Prior to your initial consultation, your attorney’s office should be certain there are no conflicts or reasons they cannot represent you.

Your next step will be meeting with your prospective divorce lawyer. To get the most out of your time, here are a few tips to keep in mind for your initial consultation.

Discuss your circumstances

This conversation between you and your potential divorce attorney can include your reasons for filing for divorce. The attorney may also want to know how long you were married and if any children are involved. You may be asked about joint accounts and the approximate balances. Having this information prepared ahead of time can give the attorney a better idea of the representation you will need.

Additional items the divorce attorney may ask you about can include:

  • Employment and income information for both you and your spouse
  • Joint assets including property, retirement accounts, vehicles or stocks
  • Joint liabilities including mortgages, credit cards or loans
  • Prenuptial agreements or inheritances

Discuss potential issues

The divorce lawyer should discuss potential issues they may foresee with your case. These issues can include parenting responsibilities, custody, child support, alimony and equal distribution of your assets. They should also explain what evidence you may need to gather and whether any expert testimonials will be needed.

Discuss retainer fee and other costs

Finally, your prospective divorce attorney should go over their expenses with you including their retaining fee. You should also be informed about how you will be charged, whether on an hourly- or activity-based scale. Additionally, you should be advised about how often you will be billed and if payment plans are available.