By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
Some divorce lawyers in Palm Beach County, Florida, give free consultations. I do not. That is because I conduct an in depth interview, I look over documents and most importantly, I give legal advice for which I am liable. I want my clients to know that I take the time and care required before I open my mouth.
Think about what you are paying for when you go to see a lawyer…his/her time, and expertise. Why other lawyers give their services away is a mystery to me. Maybe they don’t value what they are doing. Why should the client? So instead of doing free consultations, I give of my time and expertise, which I value.
That being said, here is what I like to see and discuss at our first consultation meeting:
1. Some knowledge of the family finances. You would be surprised how may wives don’t know what their husbands earn. Copies of pay stubs and tax returns are welcomed.
2. Information about the marital home, such as purchase price and year, amount owed, monthly payments, back taxes, HOA fees, and a general idea of what the house would sell for in today’s marketplace. You can get this casually from a realtor who works your neighborhood.
3. What the couple would like to see arranged as far as any children are concerned. They must have had discussions and I would like to know the direction of those talks, if any.
4. Who the spouse’s lawyer is by name if applicable. I can often tell if a case is going to settle or going to trial by the name of the lawyer representing the other party.
5. Information on other real estate owned by the parties.
6. Business documentation if a business was founded during the marriage.
7. A list of marital and non marital stuff.
This information gets me off to a good start toward creating some possible scenarios for my client. The purpose of my consultation is to educate the client, calm the fears, determine the potential disputes, and discuss rights and options. If you are thinking about divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida, call for a consultation at 561 835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com for more information.