You have finally made the decision to meet with a family law attorney. Congratulations, you have taken the most difficult step in this process, and you are no longer in this alone.
If you are like most people, then you have probably never worked closely with a lawyer before and so you may feel a little anxious. Any new experience is made easier when you know what to expect and can plan for it, so consider taking these five steps before the first meeting:
1. Think about your goals, both short term and long term.
One of the first things that your lawyer will want to know is what you want for your future. Maybe you just finally figured out what you don’t want; however, it is important to begin considering issues such as whether you want to stay in your home and how you want parenting time to be divided, now and in the future.
2. Write down any questions you have about the divorce process.
You are probably going to be a little emotional, and perhaps nervous, at the first meeting, which can cause you to forget some of the concerns that you would like to bring up. Writing down your questions will help you leave the meeting feeling like all of your worries have been addressed.
For a confidential consultation with a family law attorney who will make you feel comfortable and at ease, contact Feinberg & Feinberg at 973-378-8886.
3. Gather all necessary paperwork and legal documents.
Your lawyer will need to know certain facts about your marriage, finances and family in order to give you an idea of what the dissolution process, and final result of your divorce, could look like. Please bring the following documents to your first meeting:
- Recent tax returns
- Recent pay stubs
- List of assets and debts
- Legal documents such as your marriage certificate, children’s birth certificates, any prenuptial agreement, any separation agreement
4. Consider whether mediation may be a good option in your case.
Many divorcing couples today are able to end their marriages without a lengthy courtroom battle thanks to alternative dispute resolution processes like mediation. Mediation involves negotiations that are facilitated by a neutral mediator, who is there to help the parties resolve as many of the issues as possible. You can read more about mediation here.
5. Relax and be proud of yourself for taking this first step.
You should be proud of yourself for taking the first step to resolve the marital conflict that you have been dealing with. Whether you are feeling mournful, excited, scared or a combination of emotions, you can rest assured that your future is protected because you have Nancy S. Feinberg, a lawyer with 40 years of experience, in your corner.