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Consulting a Lawyer, Understanding the process

You get the news that your spouse is having an affair and wants a divorce.  You are devasted by the news and try to process that your marriage is over.  Your mind is filled with a myriad of questions.   Will I get custody of the children? Can I afford to keep the house? What about retirement? Can I afford a lawyer and the list goes on an on?  STOP! You need to consult with a lawyer to help you navigate through this maze of uncertainty.  Do not just call any lawyer, look for a family lawyer.  If your major concern is custody of your children, look for a lawyer that handles child custody cases.  You can Google child custody, ask a friend, neighbor, colleague, or someone who has gone through a divorce for a referral.  Once you obtain a name, arrange to set up an initial consultation.  An office consultation will make it possible for you to discuss the merits of your case.

Picking the right lawyer is akin to picking a doctor.  You may have to shop around until you find the right fit.  The most important thing is for you to feel comfortable with your lawyer.  The lawyer you select should be someone who is knowledgeable, empathetic to your plight, and accessible to you.  If you have to wait for three or more days to hear from your lawyer and you find yourself feeling rushed during your communications, this is probably not the right person for you.  Lawyers are very busy people, but every client needs to feel important.   Going through the legal process is new for you, and you need to know that your lawyer appreciates your fears, apprehensions, and need for information.  Do not feel compelled to hire the first lawyer you meet.  I recommend that you think about the meeting and whether this is the right fit for you.

Once you find the right person, the next step is the engagement process.  My next blog will discuss hiring a lawyer, the engagement letter, and legal fees.  Best of luck~