Family law attorneys in Pennsylvania and around the country will likely understand that spouses considering a divorce are sometimes extremely apprehensive before taking the first step. Contacting an attorney to discuss a divorce can seem like crossing a line, but anxieties may be reduced when spouses have a clear understanding of what will be discussed during their initial legal consultation.
During their initial consultation with a potential client, family law attorneys will generally begin by asking questions and taking notes. Once attorneys have a clear understanding of the situation, they could start to gather the information needed to address issues such as asset distribution and child custody. Attorneys will need to know the ages of the couple’s children and details about the incomes of both parties. Spouses can make these discussions simpler by gathering pertinent information beforehand, such as details about assets inherited by either spouse during the marriage as well as the balances of bank and retirement accounts.
While spouses often believe that a traditional divorce is their only option, family law attorneys may cover a number of alternative dispute resolution strategies. Spouses who feel that an amicable settlement is achievable may be interested in pursuing less adversarial options such as mediation or collaborative law. Attorneys will generally explain the steps involved in taking these various paths as well as the timeframes involved.
It is very important for spouses to feel comfortable with their family law attorneys, as they will often discuss sensitive and delicate matters. While alternative dispute resolution strategies may seem attractive, negotiations over matters such as alimony or child custody may become contentious. Attorneys may sometimes help spouses to reach a compromise during heated discussions, but they could also advocate vigorously on behalf of their clients in court when an amicable settlement remains elusive.