Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Your First Meeting with a Divorce Attorney
Your first meeting with a divorce attorney can be difficult, but it can also be productive if you’re prepared. You’re not just there to listen, you’re there to ask questions and find out whether they’re a good fit for you. The attorney might start out with some questions, or they might let you speak first. Either way, your end goal should be learning what they can do for you and deciding if you want to hire them to do it.
Be prepared to tell them why you’re there. Some people go see a divorce attorney because their spouse has filed for divorce already. For others, they want to take the first step, or at least see how it would work. Give a basic overview of your situation. Too much detail isn’t necessary at this point. The attorney will ask additional questions if there’s something they need to know that you haven’t mentioned.
A divorce attorney will probably ask you how long you’ve been married, where you live, whether you have children from the marriage, and what assets you own (bank accounts, real estate, etc.). These all give them an idea of what your divorce case could look like.
You might want to tell the attorney whether you and your spouse are able to negotiate reasonably. If you can’t even be in the same room, that’s good to mention as well. Beyond that, try to leave emotion out of it as much as possible. A good divorce attorney should be sympathetic and understand that you’re going through something difficult, but when you’re meeting with them about your case, it’s a good idea to stick to the facts. This will allow them to get all the relevant information that they need in order to best help you.
Your attorney should ask you what you want to get out of the divorce, and what an ideal outcome would look like for you. If they don’t, you should tell them. Make your goals clear from the first meeting.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask what they think a likely outcome would be for your case. Ask about realistic goals. Ask about strategy. And ask the attorney about themselves, too. Find out how long they’ve been practicing divorce law, whether they’re familiar with the courthouse where your case will be filed, etc. These aren’t necessarily things an attorney will think to tell you, but they’re important factors in deciding whether to hire them.
You are under no obligation to hire an attorney you meet with. If you don’t like their style or their approach, think about getting a second opinion. Don’t hire someone you aren’t confident in. If you do decide to hire the attorney after your meeting, make sure you discuss fees and get it in writing. Divorce attorneys charge by the hour and usually ask for a retainer up front. If there’s something you don’t understand, say so.
We help people find Illinois divorce attorneys. We base our recommendations on much of what is written here. We factor in experience, reputation, past success and even personality. If you want a referral, please contact us. We’ll listen to your situation and any concerns you have and recommend a specific Illinois divorce attorney. We only recommend attorneys we believe in. Call us at (800) 517-1614 or contact us online and we’ll call you.
Since 2001, findgreatlawyers.com has helped thousands of people find the right Illinois family law attorney for their case. We are not a place to find a free lawyer, but we are lawyers that will talk to you for free, answer questions and try to point you in the right direction to an experienced, successful law firm that is right for you. If you would like our help please contact us at any time.