It’s hard to know what to expect when you’re getting divorced. New Jersey residents who are facing the end of their marriage should start by making an appointment for a consultation with a divorce attorney. Meeting with a lawyer can be a little intimidating under these circumstances, but understanding how that first meeting is structured can give you peace of mind.
The initial consultation
The first step is reaching out to divorce attorneys in your area. When you do this, they will check to make sure there would be no conflict of interest should they decide to represent you. Once they establish that there isn’t one, they will set an appointment for the first meeting.
At the consultation, you’ll meet the attorney and some of their office staff. Someone will get all of your contact information. You’ll need to be prepared to discuss the details of your family and marital relationship. This will include how long you’ve been married, if you have children and how old they are. Since property division is key in a divorce, you should also be willing to share information about any assets and debts.
Divorce can be a long process. The attorney you choose should be someone you feel comfortable working with over a period of weeks and months. You may never be friendly, but you should feel like you understand their work style. Some attorneys may be open to non-traditional approaches to divorce. This can include mediation or collaborative divorce. If you’re interested in either, make sure to bring that up during the consultation. You also need to be able to communicate with them clearly and easily. If you don’t feel completely comfortable, it’s prudent to meet with other attorneys as well.
Finally, you will need to discuss how and when the attorney will be compensated. Be prepared to pay a retainer up front in order to secure their services. Remember, your lawyer’s job is to advocate for you effectively in court. You need to pick someone who understands what your goals are and who can support you in achieving them.