If you're new to the concept of separation or divorce (as most people are), it can be a confusing time, never knowing what to expect next. Being repeatedly thrown into new and unfamiliar situations can be exhausting after a while, and it is often nice to have some idea of what lies ahead. In an attempt to demystify one of the first aspects of the divorce process, let's discuss what happens during an initial consultation with a divorce lawyer in South Carolina.
What to bring with you?
The good news is that you do not have to bring anything to an initial divorce meeting if you don't want to. An initial meeting is just that, and it usually takes some time to begin diving into all of the details of your case. Don't worry about showing up with a truckload of documents – that will all come together later and it's the responsibility of your divorce attorney to know what information is needed and to help direct its collection. If you want, feel free to bring whatever documents you are especially interested in or concerned about. For instance, if there is a crucial piece of evidence that proves infidelity or some financial document you are worried about, bring it with you so that you can discuss it with the attorney. Otherwise, simply bringing yourself is usually enough.
What is the wait like?
Because most people are unfamiliar with the divorce process, they might mistakenly believe the initial meeting with a divorce lawyer resembles a visit to a doctor's office. They may picture themselves writing their name on a sign-in sheet and then waiting around a crowded room with people they may know. Thankfully, that is not at all how The Stevens Firm operates. Our reception area will not be crowded with others, and you will not be expected to wait very long (if at all) time before being helped. We understand that this first appointment is very important and confidential, and we will do our best to ensure you are comfortable and seen promptly at your consultation's scheduled time.
What will you discuss?
There are several issues that are important to cover during an initial consultation with a divorce lawyer. First, you need to discuss the separation and divorce process itself. Since you are likely inexperienced, this is a time to ask questions and get answers about what to expect, how long the process might last, and precisely what steps are involved. Next, you'll want to discuss specific areas of concern in your particular case, which may include child custody, support obligations, division of assets, or other complex financial issues, in order to determine which ones deserve the most attention. Finally, you will discuss the attorney's fees and costs in detail. No one should ever leave a meeting with an attorney without fully understanding the financial aspects of the attorney's representation.
Source: “Making The Most Of Your Consultation With A Divorce Lawyer,” by Lisa Gregg, published at HufffingtonPost.com.