Meeting with a Manhattan divorce attorney for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience. You may be at a loss of what to say, or you may have a dozen questions you want to ask. You may be wondering what to expect during your initial consultation or what your own responsibilities are. Here are some things you should tell your lawyer as soon as possible after meeting with them and who to call when you need divorce help in New York.
5 Things to Tell Your Manhattan Divorce Attorney About Your Marriage
1. How Much Money You and Your Spouse Make
Divorce in New York – along with everywhere else in the United States – requires each spouse to make full financial disclosure. This means that both you and your spouse need to bring forward records of all assets in your name, all earnings you make, and any other relevant financial information or documentation. If it’s later revealed that you didn’t not make full financial disclosure, you could face legal penalties, potentially even being found in contempt of court.
2. About Your Children
If you share children with your spouse, child custody is arguably going to be one of the most important parts of the dissolution of your marriage. Your divorce lawyer should know how many children you have, their ages and names, and your relationship with each of them. Give your attorney details like who is responsible for the day to day care of your children, what role you play in their everyday lives, and the nature of your engagement with them.
You should also discuss your spouse’s relationship with your children. Do they have a good relationship or is it strained? Does your spouse meet their important commitments to your children or are they involved in your children’s daily lives?
3. What Your Legal Budget Is
While many people feel like this is an uncomfortable conversation to have, you should be completely up front with your Manhattan divorce attorney about your budget. Discuss how much you ideally want to spend on your divorce and whether or not that is a realistic enough figure. Ask your lawyer to break down costs for you so you can better understand where you can or don’t want to trim your budget.
4. Any Legal Trouble You’ve Gotten Into
Certain criminal offenses and citations may impact your divorce case. For example, if you were accused of domestic violence or a drug crime, this could significantly hamper a child custody and visitation case. By letting your attorney know in advance about potential legal issues, they can help you best prepare for how to handle questions that come up about these matters.
5. What Concessions You Are or Are Not Willing to Make
Your divorce lawyer should be aware of what compromises you are or are not willing to make during the process of dissolving your marriage. Your attorney needs to know what issues are most important to you, like child custody and property division, and what issues are less important and may be negotiated, such as the allocation of debt.
Is There Anything Your Manhattan Divorce Attorney Doesn’t Need to Know?
Divorce is an inherently vulnerable process; there’s not much you can or want to keep a secret from your Manhattan divorce attorney. While you may assume that because New York is a no-fault divorce state that you don’t need to give your lawyer a play-by-play of what caused the marriage to deteriorate, you’ll actually need to be willing to provide as much information as possible.
This may mean digging old skeletons out of the closet. You don’t want your lawyer to be surprised during settlement negotiations or trial, and leaving information out could put them on the spot if the other side reveals something your attorney doesn’t know or isn’t prepared for.
A good divorce lawyer has heard just about everything and knows how to navigate around the majority of sensitive matters. Plan ahead for what to say and do when or if different topics come up during the process of getting a divorce so you and your lawyer aren’t caught off guard.
Call Manhattan Divorce Attorney Heidi E. Opinsky Today
Contact a divorce lawyer in Manhattan today for more information for legal help. Heidi E. Opinsky is a veteran Manhattan divorce attorney that can help you navigate the ins and outs of the end of your marriage, whether you’re involved in an uncontested divorce, or a contentious or high-net-worth divorce. Call now for your appointment by dialing 203-653-3542.