Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Divorce Lawyer At Your First Meeting - Stanley-Wallace Law - slidell louisiana

Even though divorce is one of the most common legal processes, it is also one of the most personal legal processes. 

However, you should feel free to ask your attorney any questions you have to give you a better understanding of how your divorce may proceed. 

Here are some of the most helpful questions to ensure you understand the process and all that it entails.

  • What do you need from me?

Your lawyer will do most of the work, but you’ll need to be available to answer questions and provide documents to help your lawyer best represent you. 

Be honest with your lawyer even if it’s embarrassing or painful. Because of attorney-client privileges, anything you tell your attorney will remain confidential. 

Failing to be honest with your lawyer, unfortunately, can have some dire consequences.  If you are embarrassed, it is very likely your lawyer has heard worse.  Lawyers are great at mitigating bad facts, if they know about them, but it can be very difficult to explain away or mitigate bad facts when the lawyer is left in the dark. 

  • Can my spouse prevent me from divorcing them?

In short, no. If you have a traditional lawful marriage, your spouse cannot prevent you from ending the marriage. All that is required is that you and your spouse are separate and apart, without reconciliation, for the requisite period of time under the law. 

However, if you have a covenant marriage, you will likely have to try to preserve the marriage first. There are specific grounds for divorce for covenant marriages that you can discuss with your lawyer. 

  • How much will this cost?

Your lawyer should be able to tell you:

  • How you will pay for the divorce (by the hour, etc.)
  • How much they will charge per hour
  • A general estimate of the total cost

Note that this estimate is only an estimate. It may cost you less or even more depending on what happens during the divorce proceedings and how long the process takes.  Note that the longer the case takes and the more conflict in a case, the more expensive a case will be.  

If you are uncomfortable with the uncertainty of attorney’s fees, Stanley-Wallace Law does offer flat fee arrangements wherein there are flat fees for the attorney’s fees incurred in your case for different phases in your case.   

  • How will you bill me for your time?

Your attorney should provide you an itemized list of everything they have done on your case each month or billing period when they send you the bill. 

You are entitled to know what your attorney has actually done on your case and how long it took them. 

  • How should I deal with my spouse during the divorce?

You should at least be civil when dealing with your spouse. Fighting, silent treatments, passive-aggression, and the like will only make the divorce harder and longer. 

However, if you feel you need protection from your spouse, let your attorney know immediately

  • Do I (or my spouse) have to move out? 

This depends on the type of divorce you’re seeking. 

If it’s a no-fault divorce, then you and your spouse must be living apart and stay that way. You can discuss the details of these restrictions and whether you are seeking a fault or no-fault divorce with your lawyer. 

  • What about the kids?

Who gets custody and how much custody depends on a few elements, including:

  • The reason for the divorce
  • The fitness of the parents
  • The children’s wishes (if they are old enough to be taken into account) 

Your attorney should be able to help you understand your choices and options when it comes to custody and visitation.

  • What about alimony and child support?

Whether you are entitled to alimony or child support, or whether you’re required to pay one or both, is something important to discuss with your attorney. 

The court determines what you will receive or have to pay based on numerous factors, including any of the following:

  • Finances
  • Lifestyle
  • Needs of the spouses 
  • Needs of the children

  • Do I have to go to court?

You may not have to go to court very often, if at all, depending on how smoothly the divorce goes. Your lawyer will be sure to inform you when and where you may have to appear and under what circumstances. 

  • How long will my divorce take?

While there’s no way to definitively determine how short or long a divorce will take, the fewer factors that have to be taken into consideration and the fewer problems that need to be resolved, the faster it will take. Cooperation and communication makes everything go more smoothly. 

Contact Kristen Stanley-Wallace for more information about divorce cases in Louisiana

We understand that your divorce may be very challenging and likely has you feeling overwhelmed, angry, or confused. Let our team at Stanley-Wallace Law help. Together we can discuss your individual situation and how to begin moving you towards your goals. Call today: (985) 288-4621.