If you’re considering a divorce, you’ll need to speak with a Fort Worth family attorney for a consultation. Being prepared for this consultation is one of the best ways to ensure your questions are answered. Here are some things to expect during your initial visit.
Scheduling your Appointment
You’ll first need to call a Fort Worth family law lawyer to schedule an appointment. When doing so, it’s important to give your name for several reasons. The biggest one is to ensure your spouse has not already contacted that attorney for assistance. Providing your name also helps an attorney determine if there is another conflict of interest that might prohibit him or her from representing you.
When scheduling your appointment, your Fort Worth family lawyer may ask you to bring certain documents with you. A few of the documents you might be asked to bring with you to your appointment include:
- Marriage license
- Pre or post-nuptial agreements
- Birth certificates for any children born in the marriage
- Tax records
- Earnings information
- Information on jointly-owned property
You may also need certain information such as the date of your separation, your spouse’s Social Security number, and any addresses you have resided at (solely or jointly) over the past two years. There may be other information you would like to share with your attorney as well, which is why you may want to prepare a notebook with pertinent information to bring with you.
After reviewing your documents, your attorney will spend a little bit of time talking about the divorce process, so you will better know what to expect. A Fort Worth family attorney will use the demographic information you provide to determine your eligibility for divorce and assess where your case should be filed. That’s because you must meet certain residency requirements prior to filing. Your attorney will also talk a little bit about what happens after you file to ensure you understand what will be expected of you during that time.
Caring for Minor Children
Custody is always a major topic of discussion in any divorce involving minor children. As such, you will likely discuss your wishes concerning child custody and visitation. You will also talk about how custody and visitation are decided during a divorce. If your children have special needs, you should address them with your attorney during this time.
Division of Property
How marital property is divided is another topic you’ll discuss during your consultation. Your attorney may ask certain questions to determine your net worth and expenses, as these things can greatly affect how property is split between the husband and wife. You may be asked to gather documents related to your property and bring them with you to a future meeting for further analysis.
Spousal and/or Child Support
The income documents you provide can be used to estimate the amount of spousal and/or child support that might be ordered in your case. Since child support is typically calculated based upon the earnings of both spouses, it can be hard to estimate if either the husband or the wife was a stay-at-home parent. In that case, information about your spouse’s education and work experience might be used instead in order to calculate his or her earning potential.
Costs and Attorney’s Fees
Finally, your consultation will end with an assessment of the costs involved. These costs can include things such as:
- Attorney’s fees
- Cost of depositions if needed
- Court filing fees
- Process server fees
- Costs associated with subpeonaing records such as bank statements
Fee Arrangements Differ
Some attorneys charge a flat rate for handling divorces, while others charge by the hour. Flat fees are typically used in uncontested divorces, while an hourly rate is normally assessed in contested cases. Your attorney will discuss his or her fee arrangement when you first meet, and will also let you know if a retainer fee is needed. In addition to a retainer, you may also be required to pay court filing charges and process server fees up front.
Obtain a Consultation from a Fort Worth Family Attorney
Going through a divorce can be a difficult time, but having the right legal counsel can hep make the process less stressful for you. Obtain the help you need by calling (817) 210-0150 to speak with a Fort Worth family attorney from the Hurr Law Office.