How To Prepare for First Meeting with a Divorce Attorney

by Mother Huddle Staff
How To Prepare for First Meeting with a Divorce Attorney

Divorce is a life-altering decision that no one enters into lightly. It’s a process that can be emotionally, mentally, and financially draining, and navigating the legal complexities of divorce can feel overwhelming. In fact, statistics show that divorce can have detrimental effects on one’s mental health, with about 50% of divorces ending in depressive episodes. One way to reduce the stress of divorce is by working with a divorce attorney. (1) 

Your initial consultation with the divorce attorney is a critical step in the divorce process. It’s an opportunity to discuss your unique situation, raise questions, and better understand what to expect moving forward. Taking the time to prepare for this meeting ensures that you and your attorney are on the same page.

That said, this article will present you with the essential steps to help you prepare for your first meeting with a divorce attorney.  

1. Get your paperwork in order 

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for your first meeting with a divorce attorney is to gather all the necessary documents. Having your paperwork in order will not only save valuable time during the consultation but also give your attorney a clear picture of your situation.  

So, what documents should you bring? Start with the basics:  

  • Marriage certificate 
  • Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements 
  • Any existing court orders or legal documents related to your marriage 
  • Financial records (e.g., tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements) 
  • Property deeds and vehicle titles 
  • Retirement and investment account statements 

All these documents will help your attorney understand your financial situation and advise you on how to proceed with the division of assets and debts. You may also consider seeking a Denver divorce legal aid or similar services near you and get the assistance you need for organizing and completing the paperwork.

Remember, the more organized and comprehensive your documentation is, the better equipped your attorney will be to represent your interests. 

2. Prepare a list of questions 

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about the future, but by preparing a list of questions beforehand, you can ensure that you cover all your bases and leave the meeting feeling more informed and in control.  

Some common questions you may want to ask include: 

  • What’s the divorce process like in your state? 
  • How long does a typical divorce take? 
  • What are the grounds for divorce in your state? 
  • How will assets and debts be divided? 
  • What are the factors considered in determining child custody and support? 
  • How much will the divorce cost, and what are the attorney’s fees? 

Don’t worry, as no question is too small or insignificant. Your attorney is there to provide guidance throughout the divorce process. 

3. Be honest and transparent 

How To Prepare for First Meeting with a Divorce Attorney

Opening up about your personal matters can be hard, particularly if there are some not-so-pretty details involved. However, your attorney is there to help, and they’ll appreciate it best if you’ll be honest and transparent the whole time.  

So, if there’s been infidelity, substance abuse issues, or even domestic violence in your marriage, don’t be afraid to bring it up. As reported by this year’s statistics, 75% of couples divorced due to lack of commitment, 60% due to infidelity, 37% for financial problems, 35% due to substance abuse, and 24% due to domestic violence. These numbers only prove that you’re not alone in your situation and that your attorney has heard it all before. (2) 

Your lawyer will be your ally, and they can only help you if you tell them the whole truth.  

4. Discuss your goals and priorities 

Take some time before the meeting to reflect on what matters most to you in the divorce process. Is it maintaining a strong co-parenting relationship with your ex-spouse? Ensuring an equal division of debts and assets? Minimizing the financial impact of the divorce?  

Whatever your goals may be, you need to communicate them clearly to your attorney. They have the experience and knowledge to help you develop a strategy that aligns with your priorities. However, it’s also essential to keep an open mind and be willing to consider your attorney’s advice. They may offer perspectives or solutions you hadn’t considered before. 

5. Look through your budget 

Divorce is often a costly endeavor, so you need to have a frank discussion about your budget with your attorney. According to Forbes, the average cost of divorce can reach between USD$ 15,000 and USD$ 20,000. While these figures can be daunting, being proactive about your financial constraints can help you and your attorney develop a strategy that works within your means. (3) 

So, ask about your attorney’s billing practices, hourly rates, and any potential additional costs. Some lawyers may offer alternative fee arrangements, such as flat-fee services or payment plans, to help make legal representation more accessible. Keep in mind that a more contentious divorce will likely result in higher legal fees, so it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of each decision you make throughout the process. 


Meeting with a divorce attorney in the first instance can be intimidating, but by following these key steps, you’ll more likely have a successful and productive consultation. So, don’t hesitate to lean on their expertise and guidance as you navigate this new chapter in your life. With the right preparation and mindset, you can start this new chapter with clarity.  


  1. “Depression After Divorce Statistics [Fresh Research]”, Source: 
  2. “Revealing Divorce Statistics in 2024”, Source: 
  3. “How Much Does a Divorce Cost In 2024?”, Source:

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