5 Things To Do When Meeting Your Divorce Lawyer For The First Time

So you’ve had enough! You’ve tried marital counseling, perhaps even a trial separation and you feel you have to make the call to a Minnesota Divorce Attorney.  What can you expect? What should do to 5prepare for it? Well as

always, I’m here to help! Here are my top 5 things to do when meeting with your divorce lawyer for the first time:

Leave The Kids At Home!Please, take my suggestion on this one, leave the kids at home.  First it’s

distracting to you and your lawyer to have little Jimmy running around the office.  If you don’t have day care options then get a sitter! You’re about to hire a lawyer who costs hundreds of dollars an hour, don’t be foolish and spend half the time trying to keep the kids calm in the office to save ten bucks!  Also, personally, it’s unsettling when we are talking about the children’s father and you’re about totalk about the affair, the alcohol or cocaine use or spousal abuse.  A divorce lawyer’s office is no place for kids, leave them at homeHave A List Of Questions Ready

If you are seriously considering divorce you will have questions. Perhaps how much child support can I expect?  How do we divide the house and our stuff? Am I entitled to her 401k? Can I move out-of-state with the kids? What about alimony?  Whatever your particular questions may be, think about them and write them down.  It’s a sign of an organized client and it will make your lawyer’s job easier

Don’t Waste Your Time (or Mine)

I know this may sound rather blunt, but if you really aren’t serious about hiring a lawyer and just want to get your free initial consultation you really aren’t doing anyone any favors.  You can’t learn enough in 30 minutes during your free consultation to make you an overnight divorce lawyer, don’t try!  It’s ok to interview several lawyers and pick the one that fits you best; however, going from lawyer to lawyer to try to cobble together how to be your own divorce lawyer is a recipe for disaster.

Don’t Be Afraid To Bring A Friend Or Family Member

If you would like some support feel free to bring a family member to sit and listen with you.  Often times we divorce lawyers talk fast and are using phrases you don’t normally hear.  An extra set of ears can often be a good thing.

Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute

If you get served with divorce papers in Minnesota you have 30 days to put in an answer.  An answer is a legal document that can be many pages long.  Do not think that if you don’t reply or just don’t sign anything the case will go away.  It won’t, what will happen is it will take your lawyer last-minute scrambling to get the document submitted properly so you are not in default!  Just as in most things, last-minute, rush orders, cost extra.  You can expect to pay a premium if you waited until 24 hours before you are in default and your lawyer has to stay late in the office to get it accomplished.

There you go, a short list of 5 things you should do when meeting your divorce lawyer for the first time.  The list isn’t exhaustive but it hopefully will help you get just a little more organized when going to see your divorce lawyer.

Any comments or questions feel free to email me at Jkohlmeyer@rokolaw.com or post a comment below.

Jason Kohlmeyer
Mankato, Minnesota

As always, this isn’t legal advice, just my commentary on the law.  For legal advice you have to sign a retainer and pay a fee.

Jason Kohlmeyer

With over 15 years experience in high conflict family law cases, having received numerous awards, and a frequent lecturer through both Minnesota and the United States on family law issues, Jason has decided to help people through a blog, answering some of the most common questions that people have during divorce and family law. cases. http://rokolaw.com/southern-minnesota-lawyers/jason-kohlmeyer/ Remember this isn't legal advice. Just blog and attempts to answer general questions, for legal advice you need to hire a lawyer. If you're in Minnesota our firm would be happy to see if we can help you.


  1. These seem like great tips to know when meeting with a lawyer for the first time. I’m going through a divorce at the moment, so I need to know more about finding the right lawyer. Bringing a friend or a family member to appointments with lawyers seems like a good idea. I often feel overwhelmed listening to people at appointments, so it would help to bring someone I know who has been through a divorce and knows a little bit about the language that’s involved in divorce law.

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