Consulting with an experienced family law attorney will be beneficial to your divorce case. Whether you are contemplating filing and serving a Summons upon your spouse, or have already been served, a divorce lawyer will provide a critical insight into your situation. Divorce can be a nerve-wracking experience, but knowing what to expect during your initial consultation with an attorney can bring some measure of comfort.
Do Your Research
It is important to research different New York City divorce attorneys before scheduling an initial consultation. Each lawyer or law firm will have their own style of representation, and their own processes and procedures with regard to the handling of clients. Knowing what kind of divorce you prefer – mediated or litigated – should also influence which attorney you hire.
Upon contacting a law firm, you will be required to give basic information, such as your name, phone number, and a few details about your case. Some firms will request that you fill out an initial consultation form prior to your scheduled appointment. While Brian D. Perskin & Associates, P.C. always offers free consultations, this is not the case with all family law firms, so be sure to determine if there will be fees associated with your initial meeting.
What Documents Should you Bring?
The documents you bring to your consultation can vary depending on whether or not the divorce action has already commenced. If the divorce is in its beginning stages, you should bring any documents that have been served upon you to your meeting. This can include a Summons, Demand for Complaint, or a Petition for Custody.
If your case is a post-judgment or modification matter, you need to bring a copy of your Final Judgment for the attorney to review. Language in legal documents can be very specific, and a lawyer will not be able to give you the best possible legal advice without looking at your final judgment. Post-judgment motions are usually filed to help enforce a court order, whereas modification matters are sought in an attempt to change an aspect of a final judgment. Modification consultations commonly involve a custodial parent who wishes to relocate with their child to a different city or state. A court order is often needed in this kind of case, and hiring representation is highly recommended.
Compiling Documents in Preparation of Divorce
After you schedule an initial consultation, it is a good idea to start compiling personal documents. Some law firms will request that you bring in a copy of your marriage certificate, and/or any existing court orders. The attorney will not ask to keep a copy of your personal documents unless you hire them.
While financial documents may not be needed in the initial stages of divorce, both parties should obtain bank statements, bills, and loan information. To make the divorce process as seamless as possible, Brian D. Perskin & Associates, P.C. provides all of its clients with a Financial Checklist so they can take inventory of what documents they have.
Changing Attorneys during Divorce
A common misconception about retaining counsel for a legal matter is that the lawyer is required to represent a client throughout the duration of their case. This is not true. Many litigants change attorneys in the middle of their action for a variety of reasons including insufficient representation or a need for less costly options.
Hiring a new lawyer in the middle of your divorce or child custody case may be easier than retaining an attorney for the first time. This is because you have a better understanding of the type of case you have, and a more realistic idea of the potential outcome of the action.
When meeting with a new attorney, it is helpful to provide case notes that outline the major events and aspects of your case. These notes will help a new attorney understand the complexity of your matter, and be able to provide you with accurate information and next steps. It is also beneficial to bring the most recent court documents to your consultation, especially those concerning your next court appearance. For instance, current Temporary Orders of Custody or Support will need to be reviewed, as well as any recently filed motions. A new attorney will want to make sure he or she is fully prepared and capable of handling your case before they are retained.
Informative and Confidential Consultations
The family law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates, P.C. provides top-notch representation to clients throughout the New York City area. Initial consultations are always free, 100% confidential, and can be scheduled online in just a few short clicks. With offices centrally located in Midtown East and Brooklyn Heights, our services are easily accessible to all New Yorkers seeking quality representation for their divorce or child custody actions. Whether you’re contemplating a legal matter, or are deep in the throes of a contested case, contact us today to schedule an in-depth consultation with Brooklyn’s divorce experts.