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 prepare for it? Well as
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.
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.