In the Twin Cities, many family law attorneys offer a free consultation to learn about your options. This is a time to meet your potential new attorney and ask your questions. The consultation can serve three main purposes.
First, you can learn about your divorce options. There are four general processes for divorce:
- pro se/unrepresented where you go through the process without legal guidance;
- mediation where a neutral third party helps you come up with the agreements;
- collaborative divorce where both parties commit to a respectful out of court process with lawyers and other professionals guiding the process; and
- litigation, the court-based traditional process. A good consultation should educate you on all of these options.
Second, the consultation allows you to learn some basic information about the issues in a divorce. The attorney can discuss the main legal issues that need to be decided during a case – such as child custody, parenting time, spousal maintenance, or property division. Clients often have specific questions about these categories and what may or may not be relevant to their situation.
Third, the consultation allows you to get to know someone and see if it is a good fit for legal work. One of the most important aspects of a consultation is the opportunity for you to meet a potential attorney and see if you will be comfortable working with them. Your attorney is your guide. You may cry or express anger in front of this person – you need to feel comfortable doing so. In addition to legal adeptness and zealous advocacy, you also must be comfortable and trust your attorney. This is perhaps the most important element of the relationship.
You should know that when you are just meeting an attorney for a consultation, the attorney cannot give you legal advice or answer legal questions with certainty. Because the consulting attorney does not have a client relationship, you and your spouse could meet with the attorney together. This is often a good way for you both to hear information together. When you receive the same message, you often feel less adversarial and more like you are both seeking a guide for the process.
Please contact a collaborative attorney
for a free consultation to learn more about your options.
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