Your First Meeting With Your Divorce Attorney
Approximately 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. You have many friends and relatives that have gotten divorced. You have probably heard many horror stories about divorce, and many very good stories about divorce. The one thing that you have not heard much about is your first meeting with your attorney. In this article, I will try to give you some pointers and some directions to take in order to make the first meeting with your divorce attorney more productive. You are most likely to meet with us in one of three situations.
The first situation is you are married, have no immediate present plans to get a divorce, but are curious about the divorce process, property rights, child custody, visitation, child support, etc. You may also have one or two specific questions that relate to your situation.
The second situation is where you have come to the conclusion that your marriage is no longer viable and you are ready to proceed with the divorce. You do not quite know the details of how, when, or where you will proceed with the divorce, but you have made a decision and you decided that you need to seek the services of an attorney before going any further. The degree of urgency to meet with an attorney may be high or it may be on the low side.
The third situation is where your spouse has filed a divorce against you, and either given you a copy of the divorce papers or has had you served with some type of process from the Court. If this is the case, it is important that you meet with us as soon as possible. A word of caution: if you are served with papers read them carefully to make certain that you are aware of any impending court hearings or answer deadlines.
You should do two things, if possible, before meeting with your divorce attorney. First, on one sheet of paper type up all of your biographical information – name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number, Social Security number, phone contact numbers, employer, employer’s address – do the same for your spouse, and provide basic background information also for your minor children. The second thing that you need to do is to prepare a narrative. If you are simply meeting with a divorce attorney to obtain basic information, the narrative will probably be one half of a page to a page in length. You should give a brief description of you, your spouse, your children, assets, liabilities, etc. You should include any specific information that you think may be helpful to your attorney. Your narrative should end with any specific questions that you have.
Moving Forward With A Divorce
If you have already made the decision to file for divorce then the narrative will need to be much longer. You should prepare for us a narrative of say three to five pages, describing your history with your spouse, your upbringing, your spouse’s upbringing, your education, employment, your spouse’s education and employment, a description of the personalities of your children, the problems that you had in the marriage, an overview of the assets and liabilities, an overview of the income and expenses of parties, and any other information that you think is pertinent. You should also end your narrative with any specific questions that you have.
If your spouse has already filed for divorce, you need to get in to see us quickly. If you do have time to put together a narrative, it should be very similar to the narrative that you would put together if you had made the decision to get a divorce, except you need to add a paragraph about what you think caused your spouse to go ahead and file for divorce at this particular time. Once you have been served with process do not delay meeting with an attorney while you prepare a narrative. Instead, meet with your attorney at the first available opportunity – if you have time to prepare the narrative before the meeting, great; but do not delay the meeting to prepare a narrative. If you need to, you can prepare the narrative after you meet with your divorce attorney. Attorneys are very expensive note takers. If you will follow these simple guidelines, it will make your initial meeting with us productive.
If more information on our divorce services please contact Houston attorney, John K. Grubb.