Subscribe to the RSS Feed

Talking to a Dissolution Lawyer: What do you need to know? What do you need to ask? What do you need to bring?

DISSOLUTION LAWYER When people meet with a dissolution lawyer to  discuss the possible end of their marriage, that meeting can be very stressful. Some people do not know what to say or ask and hope that the dissolution lawyer will simply lead the meeting. The problem with that approach is that not everybody is in the same place as far as the end of their marriage and what they need from the dissolution lawyer. Some typical scenarios are:

1.  The potential client is uncertain if they want to end their marriage, but they simply want to get some information about what to expect if they DO decide to terminate the marriage.  They want to know about the difference between divorce and dissolution, which one is recommended for them, the timeframe, the cost, and what they need to do if they decide to “get the ball rolling.”  Some of these people want to “tell their story” and some are uncomfortable doing so, and are content not to have to tell more than they told at their intake interview over the phone.

2.  The potential client knows that they need to end their marriage, but they have no idea what they next step is.  Whatever the next step is, they want a dissolution lawyer to help them with that, so they are interviewing lawyers to see who is a good fit,  and looking for advice regarding what the next step is.  This potential client is not as interested in talking about the process, which can be overwhelming, because they trust that their dissolution lawyer, whoever they hire, will explain that to them as the process moves along.

CALL NOW at (614) 225-9316

GAHANNA DISSOLUTION LAWYER3.  The person who has requested the consult has definitely decided to end their marriage, but cannot afford a dissolution lawyer and must handle their own case.  They are looking for some guidance regarding procedure and some advice regarding any pitfalls they are likely to encounter.  This person’s consultation is more about forms and where to go and what to file.  They may later decide they need another consultation for a little extra help, but they still will be handling their own case.

4.  The person who has requested the consultation has dissolution paperwork that was drafted by their spouse’s dissolution attorney.  They are not sure they want to or are able to hire a dissolution attorney of their own, but they do want to have a dissolution attorney look over the paperwork, explain it to them, and maybe give them suggestions regarding changes to the paperwork which is in their best interest.  This takes a lot more time than a consultation.   We charge the same flat fee for this as we do for drafting the documents ourselves.  You can find our dissolution flat fee rates on our FAQ page.

CALL NOW at (614) 225-9316

Generally, people coming in to see a dissolution attorney are in one of these four categories.  It will help the dissolution lawyer to give the client the consultation that best fits their needs if the person can determine which category they are in and let the lawyer know at the beginning of the consultation.

Consultation.  That is a scary word to some people.  Some people believe that you only have a “consultation” with a lawyer if you are sure you want to hire a lawyer.  NOT TRUE.  A consultation is simply arranging to have a block of time with a lawyer to receive advice.  It is not just about whether you are going to hire a lawyer.  As I mentioned above, some people cannot afford a lawyer, but they need help with the paperwork.  That is okay.  Consultations are not one size fits all anymore.

CALL NOW at (614) 225-9316

So you know what you want from the consultation.  What do you need to bring?  Well, if support is an issue, (either spousal support or child support), you should bring some proof of income (yours and your spouses).  In Ohio, you should also bring information regarding the cost of health insurance (both for the individual and family coverage, union dues, any child support you receive for other children (born outside the marriage) and proof of daycare expenses (daycare that is necessary for your job).  If possible, you should also have a rough idea of what your monthly budget is, and which spouse pays what percentage of the budget.  If you do not have all of that together, don’t worry, most people do not for their first consultation, and that information is looked at by the attorney after you hire him or her.

Your initial consultation, depending on the attorney, will probably be somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour, perhaps less if the consultation is free.  That being the case, you will not have time to cover all of the information involved in a dissolution.  You and the attorney will talk about some of the process, the cost, and the attorney will give you some information to go home and look over.

CALL NOW at (614) 225-9316

You do NOT have to decide right there in the attorney’s office whether you want to hire him or her, so do not feel rushed or pressured.  It is expected that you will go home and think about it.  The attorney knows this, is used to this and is completely comfortable with it, so do not be anxious about not hiring them on the spot.  If and when you are ready to hire the dissolution lawyer you met with, you would get started by signing the fee agreement they give you and paying their retainer.

CALL NOW at (614) 225-9316

FAMILY LAWYERVirginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

DISCLAIMER – Read it, it’s important!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.