Virginia Family Law: 7 Tips For Working Effectively With Your Divorce Attorney
1. Come Prepared. To a large degree, the quality of advice I can give you during an initial consultation is a function of the quality of information you give me. Bring your tax returns, pay and account statements, and/or court documents (if your case has begun) to the initial consultation. Those documents will help me help you
2. Ask Questions. Your understanding of the divorce process is critical to its success. I want you to leave our consultation confident that I have answered all of your questions (to the extent I am able). Writing out your questions in advance may help you organize your thoughts and should ensure the topics most important to you are covered.
3. Be Organized. Keep a log of important events, dates and times. This may prove useful in the future. It may also help you focus and recognize the issues of greatest importance to you. Organization is important for both you and your attorney. You will receive a copy of everything this firm sends out on your behalf. In most cases, you will have reviewed and approved the content of those documents beforehand. Our firm will keep an organized file of your pleadings and correspondence. We’ll also keep an organized box (sometimes several boxes) of the documents we may use at trial. It’s important for you to do the same if you are able.
4. Get Involved. Don’t sit back and allow your spouse (or your attorney to a degree) to make your most important decisions. Being passive is a tough way to accomplish your goals. I understand that being proactive is especially hard if you’re in shock or suffering grief from the end of your marriage.
5. Seek Clarification. If you’re confused or don’t understand something, do some independent research before speaking with us. We’re always willing to explain and properly address your concerns or issues, but that shouldn’t excuse some level of “self-help.” Also, make sure your lawyer can speak plainly and without complicated “lawyer speak.”
6. Be Honest. Make sure you don’t hide any information that could be pertinent to your case. The more your lawyer knows about you the more s/he can help represent your best interests and protect your assets. Waiting to disclose your issues until immediately before your trial or (worse) at trial is not a winning strategy.
7. Set Realistic Goals. Make sure that you and your lawyer are on the same page and that s/he really understands you and your goals. Your divorce attorney will work relentlessly to protect what’s most important to you and preserve the assets you value the most.
If you’ve got questions about these issues, feel free to drop me a line. Jason A. Weis, Esquire – Curran Moher Weis P.C. – firstname.lastname@example.org – 10300 Eaton Place, Suite 520, Fairfax, VA 22030 – 571-328-5020.