The decision to divorce might not be an easy one, but it could be unavoidable. Some may leave an abusive spouse out of fear for their lives. Others intend to start anew after drifting apart from a partner. Among the first steps after deciding to file for divorce involves meeting with an attorney. A spouse may worry about the initial consultation at a Louisiana office, but things could move along smoothly with appropriate preparation.
Understanding the initial meeting with an attorney
The first meeting with an attorney commonly focuses on telling the attorney the reasons for the divorce. While no-fault divorce is possible, a Louisiana judge could preside over fault-based proceedings. If one spouse committed an egregious act, such as physical abuse or adultery, the behavior might factor into the court’s decisions, including ones related to spousal support awards.
The attorney may mention things the client did not consider, including statutory residency requirements that spouses must meet before filing for divorce in Louisiana. Overall, the first consultation may become a “learning process” for both the attorney and the client.
Going further with subsequent meetings with the attorney
Potential clients may find subsequent meetings involve detailed discussions about financial matters. Information about financial assets might factor into the settlement, child custody, and spousal support negotiations. The attorney could go into details about possible reasonable expectations and outcomes for any financial settlements.
A parent may want sole custody of a child, and an attorney might provide insights into how feasible it is for the court to make that determination. Clients may not realize the court reviews many elements when making decisions on custody and visitation. If the other spouse presents a potentially unsafe environment for the child, the court would likely expect compelling proof of the claim.
Perhaps an “alternative dispute resolution” process known as mediation may be worth exploring. An attorney could explain the option.
Scheduling a meeting with a divorce attorney could start the process of dissolving a marriage. During the initial meeting, an attorney might provide insights on how things could move forward.