Your First Consultation with a Divorce Attorney

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An initial meeting with a divorce attorney in Fresno can be filled with emotion. You may ask yourself, Is this meeting the beginning of the end? Or, Am I dedicated to working with this lawyer because we are having this meeting?

The answer to each questions is most probably no. The beginning of the end, if that is where this is going, was probably months or even years ago. By meeting with a divorce attorney, you are finding out the possibilities in front of you, how you may find resolution in what is unquestionably a complicated situation. Many couples, when they determine the options, begin to re-evaluate the nature of their marriages and decide to stay together. Frequently, they formalize a trial separation with a separation agreement that can be reversed, or provide the template for the final divorce decree.

A wise client is one who looks at many available options in lawyers and makes a selection based on numerous criteria. But assuming you are decided on which attorney you are working with, you must then prepare for a first working meeting, where essential topics need to be covered.

Several issues to consider in advance of your meeting:

• Psychological issues of all involved: Are you initiating the divorce or reacting to divorce papers that you were served? How do all parties involved—spouses, children, extended family and closest friends—feel about the situation?

• Physical circumstances: Is everyone comfortably housed, or is one member living apart already? Is everyone safe? Are the children traumatized? Is your financial situation precarious in such a way that it may affect where you live in the immediate future?

• Pertinent financial summaries: Annual or most-recent quarterly statements of investments, mortgage statements and property title of the primary and secondary residences, credit card and other debt statements and any other documents that can present a snapshot of family finances are quite relevant to a divorce proceeding.

• Timeline of the marriage: Include when key events such as schooling, major purchases, income and investments were made during the course of the marriage. If one spouse worked while the other earned an advanced education, it is a significant point.

With this knowledge, the lawyer can assess the family situation and put together the best strategy for moving forward. If you are thinking about divorcing, contact a divorce law offices in Fresno to speak about your case and to arrange an interview.

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