2021 Legal Guide Page

DIVORCE FACT   The average marriage in the United States lasts 8.2 years.   Couples in Italy more than double the United States marriage longevity with their marriages lasting on average over 18 years.

Interviewing a potential attorney 

It's time to consult an attorney to get a broader legal view of your pending divorce.  You will look for an attorney to have the background, rate and "court side manner" that provides you the best representation.   Your goal is to dissolve your marriage with the least amount of time, problems and legal fees.  There is no way to sugar coat a divorce intertwined with emotional drama and pain.  So, from this point on, know that your attorney is your attorney and not your therapist.  It's time to toughen up and speak law, or at least understand it so that you can get the best settlement possible.

What to ask your attorney in the first interview

There will be many aspects of your situation that we can not fully anticipate specific to your state and circumstances, but generally you will want to include the following in your interview(s) or initial consultation:

  • Does the attorney know your spouse to include but not limited to consultation regarding divorce?  If so, you will need to discontinue the interview immediately.
  • Attorney's fee structure to include retainer necessary to initiate representation.
  • Laws and divorce procedures of your state as they apply to your circumstances and case.  
  • Factors specific to your state that affect child support, alimony, maintenance, etc.
  • Legal separation.  Is it a state requirement prior to divorce, if so how long.  Ask that he/she explain the differences of legal separation, separation, annulment and divorce.  Are there any restrictions about sharing the marital home during separation?
  • Requirements (i.e. child custody classes) necessary to complete prior to the divorce.
  • State property laws specific to each spouse's ownership rights as they pertain to your states process for division of marital assets.
  • Based on your circumstances you may want to hire an attorney at this time.  It will depend on issues like your financial stability, living situation and personal circumstances.  

You will consider the attorney(s) you interviewed.  Proceed to the next article in our Legal Guide, "Why you should like your attorney" to help you in determining if the attorney(s) you met are a good fit to represent you in your divorce.         




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