Preparing for the initial divorce consultation

Many people in Texas who are contemplating divorce may not know what to expect. Once an individual has selected an attorney and made the first appointment, they should gather information and be prepared to answer questions. The attorney’s objective will be to understand the circumstances surrounding the divorce to the greatest extent possible.

During the initial consultation, the attorney will get basic contact information and basic information about the marriage, any children involved, employment and finances. Financial information covers all assets including homes, vehicles, retirement plans and other financial accounts as well as any mortgages or other outstanding debts. The attorney will ask about what assets each party brought into the marriage and whether either party received an inheritance during the marriage.

The attorney will inquire regarding the potential issues that may arise in the divorce. These include alimony, child support, child custody and visitation, payment of college expenses and distribution of assets. The attorney may also explain alternative processes of resolving a divorce. Litigation in court is not always necessary. Mediation, arbitration and collaborative divorce may be options. The attorney can discuss these options and describe the advantages and disadvantages of each. Finally, the attorney will, if they have not already done so, outline the financial arrangements for the attorney’s services. These include the hourly rate, the amount of any up-front retainer, frequency of billing and payment due dates.

Any divorce is accompanied by some level of stress and anxiety. For many people, the stress is partially the result of not knowing what to expect. An individual who is contemplating a divorce may want to consult with an attorney early. The attorney can provide substantive information regarding the likely outcome for the divorce and make the individual more comfortable regarding what the divorce process will involve and the manner in which it will proceed.