What Can I Expect at the Initial Divorce Consultation?

Friday, 22 January 2016 14:00 Written by  Elizabeth J. Fineman

The initial divorce consultation is your first meeting with the attorney.   It occurs before you retain the attorney and can be utilized to determine if you and the attorney can work effectively together.  Sometimes this meeting occurs because you want to have the knowledge and information if you foresee potential divorce, support or custody issues in the future or are considering a prenuptial agreement.  Other times, there may be issues which require you to hire a family law attorney immediately.

Prior to the first meeting, our office will ask you to be aware of relevant topics and materials to ensure a productive meeiting.  At the first meeting you are asked to bring information related to your income, assets and liabilities.  If you do not have access to this information, the meeting can go forward without the information, as it can be acquired from the other party during the divorce process.  Expect to be asked questions related to these areas as that will allow the attorney to provide you with a better overview of the anticipated range for a resolution of your case, whether by agreement or court order.  The asssessment made at the initial consultation is based on the financial data provided, and may change as more specific information is made available.  It's a good idea to make a list of your questions in advance of the initial consultation, so that the meeting will be more productive, and you do not forget to ask about your concerns.

The purpose of the first meeting with a domestic relations attorney is to gain information and have your questions answered.  Over the course of an hour you will be provided with an overview of aspects of family law that may affect you: divorce, support (child support, spousal support, alimony pendente lite and alimony), custody and/or a prenuptial agreement.  You may be provided with the anticipated range of outcomes for your case based upon the information provided at the consultation.  Most importantly, you will have an opportunity to have your questions answered.  Having a general understanding of the process and answers to your questions is important at a stressful time like this.

While this is a difficult meeting for many clients, it is important to remember that the attorney is the one who is providing information and answering questions.  Family Law practitioners are well aware that clients are going through a very emotional process, and it the attorney's responsibility to put the client at ease, and help to navigate this unfamiliar and emotionally fraught territory as painlessly as possible.

Last modified on Friday, 22 January 2016 15:45
Elizabeth J. Fineman

Elizabeth J. Fineman

Elizabeth Fineman concentrates her practice on domestic relations matters and handles a variety of issues, including divorce, child support, alimony/spousal support, marital taxation, equitable distribution and child custody matters. She has handled many high-income support cases involving an intricate knowledge of both family law and complex financial issues. Additionally, she has handled several appellate court matters representing her clients’ interests in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

To view Elizabeth J. Fineman's full profile, click here.

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