What to expect at the initial consultation for a divorce case

Many people who go through a divorce in California do not know what to expect during the process. A divorce attorney may be able to help relieve some of the uncertainty by preparing a divorcing spouse for each step. Before a divorcing spouse can enlist the help of an attorney, an initial consultation with the attorney must be arranged.

When a divorcing spouse calls an attorney's office to schedule an initial consultation, a staff member from the office will have to screen the caller by running what is referred to as a 'conflict check." A conflict check is done to ensure that there is no preexisting conflict of interests that would prevent the attorney from representing the individual. As long as there isn't a conflict, an initial consultation can be scheduled.

The initial consultation is a time when the divorce attorney will ask the divorcing spouse questions and take a lot of notes. The divorcing spouse should be prepared to discuss the length of their marriage, the number of children they have and all relevant financial information, including both spouses' incomes, assets and liabilities. The attorney will also need to know whether or not there is a prenuptial agreement and what potential disputes are likely to arise during the divorce proceedings.

At the initial consultation, the divorcing spouse and the attorney have a chance to decide if they want to work together. While discussing the divorce, the attorney will also explain what financial arrangements are required for representation. An attorney may also talk about the various options a spouse has for resolving their divorce and the outcomes that should be expected from each divorce method.

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    Attorneys Paul Gavin and Wayne Dersch are certified as a family law specialists. Learn More