Frequently Asked Questions About Selecting the Right Virginia Divorce Lawyer

By | August 22, 2011

What should I bring to my initial consultation? 

Bring with you any document you want your attorney to review.  Typically those documents include evidence of marital fault (e.g. letters, photos, emails relating to adultery, cruelty and desertion for example), the family’s assets (e.g. checking account statements, retirement/investment account states and appraisals for example), and the parties’ incomes (e.g. recent paystubs and tax returns for example).  Your attorney should also review all documents you have received from the court and/or opposing counsel.  Notes, chronologies, lists and summaries of events you have prepared may also be helpful. When in doubt, bring documents.

What should I do to prepare for my initial consultation?

You can prepare for your initial consultation by compiling and organizing the documents you would like your attorney to review.  Additionally, it is often helpful to creates notes, chronologies and summaries of events; identify and consolidate lists of important dates, names, addresses and account numbers, both to refresh your own recollection and to permit your attorney can easily and quickly digest them.  The information collected should also help you generate a list of questions and/or issues you may want your attorney to address during your consultation.  In most cases, providing specific information to your attorney will permit him/her to give you more specific answers.  Also, carefully consider your budget and decide how much money you are able to spend with your attorney to accomplish your goals.

What should I do during my initial consultation and what should I expect from my attorney?

You should collect information during your initial consultation.  Arrive at your attorney’s office early to complete any paperwork that may be necessary.  When you arrive, take note of the firm’s proximity to the courthouse and the number of attorneys there.  Does the firm appear organized and well run?  Does the attorney have legal assistants and/or paralegals that will be available to help you?  During your initial consultation, take note of your attorney’s communication style and demeanor.  Are they appropriate for what you intend to accomplish?  Does he/she appear knowledgeable and suitably experienced? Explain your situation to your attorney and answer any questions he/she might have for you.  Always be honest with your attorney.  Inform him/her of any issues you expect your spouse to raise and be clear about your
objectives.

From your attorney you should expect a clear evaluation of your matter based upon the law, the attorney’s knowledge and experience.  You should also expect well-reasoned advice from your attorney as to how you should proceed to achieve your goals.

How can I save money when dealing with my attorney?

In most cases, your attorney’s fees are the direct result of the time he/she spends on your case.  Thus, saving your attorney time should save you money.  Here are some tips:

  • Consolidate multiple questions into a single communication – email or phone call – as opposed
    to several individual emails or calls.
  • Prepare for all meetings with your attorney and come with multiple copies of all requested
    information.  Provide your attorney with neat and organized responses to his/her requests.
  • Provide your attorney with written summaries of events and lists of important information such as account numbers and contact information of key figures.
  • Where possible, utilize your attorney’s legal assistant and paralegal.

Should I hire an attorney to represent me in my divorce? 

Yes.  Family law is complex and the issues at stake are important.  For example:

  • Who will have custody of my children?
  • When will I be able see my children and under what terms?
  • How much support, if any, will I have to pay for my children?
  • How much support, if any, will I have to pay my spouse?  Or, how much support might I receive?
  • How will property such as my house or business be divided?
  • Has marital fault such as adultery or cruelty been committed?
  • How does marital fault impact my divorce?

Your divorce may have a life long impact on you and your children. You owe it to yourself to consult with an experienced family law attorney.

If you’ve got questions about the information above, please feel free to drop me a line.  Jason A. Weis, Esquire – Curran Moher Weis P.C. – jweis@curranmoher.com – 10300 Eaton Place, Suite 520, Fairfax, VA 22030 – 571-328-5020.




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