Berman & Asbel, LLP

The initial divorce consultation

Many Pennsylvania residents who are considering getting a divorce have questions about what to expect at their initial divorce consultation with an attorney. Understanding what will occur at the meeting is important as it helps the person to gather needed information to better prepare in advance.

When a person calls to set up an appointment, the legal staff will first complete a conflicts check to make certain the attorney is able to represent them. If no conflict exists, an appointment will be scheduled. At the consultation, the attorney will gather basic contact information as well as information about the number and ages of the children and the date of the marriage. The prospective client will need to be able to talk about the circumstances of the case.

The attorney will also need information about the person's income, assets and liabilities, as well as those of their spouse. People may want to list all of the assets each own and note any that they brought into the marriage. They should also do so with the debts. They will then need to tell the attorney what is likely to be at issue in their divorce case. The attorney may then discuss alternatives to court litigation, including divorce mediation or arbitration.

The end of a marriage is a difficult process for many people. Being prepared from the start with the information can help the process go smoother. When provided with all of the information regarding the children, income, assets and liabilities, the attorney may be in a better position to try to resolve matters quickly on the client's behalf. Legal counsel may be able to negotiate a full settlement with the other spouse, or the attorney may try to reach one through an alternative dispute resolution method if litigation can be avoided.

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