New Jersey residents who are facing a divorce may be wondering what they should expect from an initial meeting with an attorney. Divorce can be a complex and emotionally-draining experience, and each party may have several concerns. In an initial meeting with an attorney, it is important to know which issues are important and which questions to ask. There are a few key questions that can help a person become more educated about the process and help them set expectations for the final agreement.
One of the most important questions relates to spousal and child support. An attorney should be able to provide guidance as to whether a spouse will have to pay such support or entitled to receive it. While exact figures are usually not established until the divorce is finalized, the attorney may be able to provide rough estimates. Bringing financial information such as check stubs, tax returns and investment statements to the meeting will help the attorney give a more-informed answer.
Custody and visitation are also often primary concerns when children are involved. The attorney can answer questions about how New Jersey courts decide custody arrangements and how the couple can possibly work together to expedite the process. Many states prefer that parents compromise on a mutually convenient custody schedule rather than having the court decide.
It is important to ask the attorney what other information would be beneficial. When clients are organized, their lawyers can do their job more effectively. Bank statements, credit card bills and property deeds may all be necessary. In a custody battle, a parent may even be required to document time spent with the child. Asking in advance about what may be helpful can help with the preparation when that information is needed.
Source: The Huffington post, “Divorce Confidential: Asking the Right Questions in a Divorce“, Caroline Choi, December 04, 2013