All aspects of divorce are daunting, but if you have never been divorced before, even the first meeting with your attorney may seem intimidating. Minnesota has several requirements that divorce attorneys must follow so they can take your case. Here is what you can expect.
Prior to your initial consultation
Before setting foot in your prospective divorce attorney’s office, the legal practice must perform a check to see whether any conflict of interest exists that would prevent their attorneys from representing you in your divorce case. Once they have determined that no conflict is present, the practice will contact you to set up an initial consultation.
Expect to provide a lot of information
You’ll be the one doing most of the talking during the initial consultation, as you will need to provide your attorney with the reason for the divorce and any pertinent details. Expect the attorney to make notes and ask questions to ensure that all information you provide is accurate. You’ll need to give details, including:
- Basic contact information
- Dates of your marriage, names and ages of your children
- Employment information for you and your spouse
- All assets, including retirement accounts
- All debts, including mortgages, student loans, etc.
Know approximate balances for all assets and debts, whether you had a prenuptial agreement or any premarital assets.
Understanding the divorce negotiation process
Being thorough is an important part of the divorce negotiation process. Not having all the necessary information can lead to problems, delays, and not getting a fair deal for the final decree. Your attorney should also discuss any foreseeable issues and complications, such as custody, parenting time, college expenses, etc., as well as fees and how the legal practice’s typical financial arrangements.
For many couples, dispute resolution is necessary for the divorce process. If potential problems are present, you should learn about resolving your divorce through mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce. Remember that each case is different, with some only requiring traditional litigation. Finally, make sure you are comfortable with your chosen legal practice to get the most out of your divorce settlement.