Researching divorce lawyers in Charlotte, prior to taking action and moving forward, is smart. The first step is understanding the process of retaining an attorney, what is helpful, and knowing what is involved with an initial consultation.
Whether you are preparing to live apart or are already separated from your spouse and want to file for divorce, we think it’s a good idea to gather information before making any big life decisions, including whether filing for an absolute divorce comports with the relevant Family Laws in North Carolina.
After speaking with a divorce attorney, you may decide it better to hold off and try marital counseling. That’s alright with us. We believe good decision making is predicated on careful introspection and understanding your legal rights and responsibilities – Bill Powers, Charlotte Family Law Attorney
Prior to your consultation with a Charlotte Divorce Lawyer, listed below are 5 important tips to make your time with one of our family law attorneys efficient for both you and the divorce lawyer:
Make sure you have a private space to talk with your lawyer
While consultations are traditionally in-office, lawyers are utilizing web platforms such as Zoom and WebEx these days to conduct initial consultations due to the pandemic and to maximize everyone’s time.
What kind of lawyer do I need?
It is very important to have a private space to conduct your virtual consultation where your spouse or anyone, for that matter, cannot accidentally overhear the conversation.
You also want to make sure you have a private email address, that your spouse has no access to, to communicate with the divorce lawyer and receive meeting invites from our law firm, assuming our divorce lawyers are available for consultation and possible representation.
Finances are important – Gather Financial Information
You will likely be talking to your lawyer about important issues relating to your divorce that involve finances like equitable distribution, spousal support, and child support.
It is a good idea to get a general idea of each spouse’s income, monthly budgets, and property owned by either spouse prior to consultation.
This is easy if you are the spouse who handles the finances. If you are not, do your best to privately acquire as much information as possible.
Your divorce lawyer will be better able to formulate a plan moving forward for you if you have a good idea of where you and your spouse stand financially.
Divorce lawyers refer to the assets associated with marriage as the Marital Estate. In any dissolution of marriage, there is an aspect of estate planning or better said, how to distribute assets including retirement accounts, real estate, bank accounts, college savings plans, and the like.
Bring your paperwork – Court Filings and Separation Agreements
If you have received court papers, make sure you provide the documents you have received to the divorce lawyer prior to the consultation.
That may include Custody Custody Agreements, Separation Agreements, a Complaint for Equitable Distribution, or legal filings for Post Separation Support, Custody, and Equitable Distribution.
This will give the divorce lawyer the opportunity to read and assess what is going on in your case.
You can provide these to the divorce lawyer via your private email or bring them with you to the consultation should it be in person. It is important to bring or provide all the documents you have received and not just part of them.
Consultation doesn’t equal hiring the divorce lawyer
The initial consultation is an opportunity for both you and the divorce lawyer to figure out if you are a good fit for one another.
Come with a list of questions for the divorce lawyer which you feel will help you make your decision.
Examples of questions might be:
- Who will be handling my case?
- Does your firm encourage litigation or settling out of court in Mecklenburg County?
- Is your firm active in Collaborative Divorce and Collaborative Law?
- How does property division work after legal separation?
- What happens if I want to live somewhere other than Charlotte, North Carolina and kids are involved?
- Am I entitled to Alimony?
- How much is Child Support?
- What is Equitable Distrubution?
- How long does it take to get divorced?
- What is the first thing I should do?
- When should I get separated?
- Should I leave the home?
Once you find a good fit, you will be asked to sign a fee agreement to officially hire your divorce lawyer.
Consulting a divorce lawyer doesn’t mean starting an expensive court battle
In fact, the majority of our cases settle prior to going to trial.
In your consultation, the divorce lawyer will speak to you generally about all options you have to “break up” with your spouse.
Surprisingly, most of those options do not involve turning over your family’s future to a judge.
We actively encourage mediation and Collaborative Divorce, when and if a collaborative agreement is appropriate.
Our divorce attorneys encourage all clients to consider out-of-court options first but will fight for you in court should the need arise to protect you and your family.
We are courtroom lawyers. And as such, we understand the financial and emotional costs of litigation.
When it comes to getting divorced, it is our considered opinion Collaborative Divorce greatly benefits clients and their children.
Call now to schedule a consultation with a Charlotte Divorce Lawyer
Prior to accepting a case for representation, our firm first conducts what divorce attorneys often refer to as a “conflict check.”
We’ll want to make sure we’re available for legal representation and there are no conflicts of interest. In order to provide the level of service we prefer, our firm limits how many cases we take for representation.
We will also explain the costs of the consultation and provide some basic background information about retaining the firm and the NC Divorce Laws.
We DO charge consultation fees for legal issues involving Divorce, Child Support, Child Custody, Equitable Distribution, PSS – Post Separation Support, and Domestic Violence “Chapter 50B” Protective Orders. That differs from representation for our practice areas that include personal injury and criminal defense.
Advance payment of the consultation fee is required prior to meeting with one of our Charlotte Divorce Lawyers. You may call the office or complete our online contact form to begin the consultation process with our Charlotte NC divorce law firm.