Oklahoma divorce lawyer consultationYour first appointment with a lawyer can be nerve-wracking even when you are not in the middle of a heated divorce or custody dispute. When anxiety is high, it is easy to overlook critical details or forget to ask an important question.  Because you will want to make the most out of the time you have scheduled, it is a good idea to do a little preparation beforehand. 

Check Your Email

The first thing you should do is look at any email or paperwork you may have been sent when you scheduled the appointment.  It may be a good idea to print these out if they have instructions for you to follow.  Jot down the office address and program it into your GPS ahead of time so you will be familiar with what route you will take to get there—and don’t forget to take notice of suite numbers. This will free you up to focus on the content and purpose of your meeting instead of how to get there.  If instructions or a list of what to bring have been provided by the lawyer’s office, make sure to address each one carefully, as the lawyer will be assessing your answers in order to give you the best initial advice.

What to Bring to Your Initial Consultation

If you have not been provided specific instructions or a list, it is still a good idea to put together a minimum of information for your appointment.  You will want to bring:

  • Your non-expired and valid government-issued identification (driver's license or passport are the best options)
  • Any paperwork you have been served with (a petition, summons, etc.)
  • Any and all protective orders filed between you and your spouse
  • Full name, date of birth, addresses, employment information, and phone number of your spouse
  • Your last paystub
  • Your spouse’s last paystub (if you have access to it)
  • A journal or timeline of pertinent events
  • A list of questions that will help you decide whether to retain the lawyer’s services

While this may seem like a lot to bring to an initial consultation, what you have to realize is that the more information you have with you, the more accurate the lawyer’s initial assessment can be. For example, if you have a journal of how much time the children have spent with each parent in the last few months, this can help the lawyer form an opinion about custody, visitation, or child support matters.   

If you fail to bring anything with you, the lawyer may be reluctant to give you anything more than general advice and may require you to return when you have more information. It is always better to have more information with you than you think you need than to fail to bring something necessary.  If you need more guidance on this topic or if you are ready to schedule your initial consultation, contact Diana the Lawyer at (918) 605-4826.

Items You Should Not Bring

Almost as important as what to bring is what not to bring.  You should not bring any other person with you to your initial consultation appointment unless the lawyer has specifically requested that you do so.  Having another person listen in to what you say to a lawyer can compromise the attorney/client privilege.  It is much easier to have a necessary witness (or a child, if appropriate) come in and speak to the attorney later if deemed necessary.  Finally, you should never bring any weapons or contraband into a lawyer’s office unless the lawyer has asked you to do so and has explained the reason why the items are needed.

Special Considerations

If you feel like you need an emotional support person with you for your appointment due to domestic violence or other trauma, you should discuss this with the lawyer’s office when setting the appointment. 

You should also seek permission before bringing a service animal into the office and/or advise if you need other special accommodations, as some offices require notice to accommodate certain requests. For example, some smaller offices may not have elevators but require stair use. 

Make sure to ask about the cancellation, refund, and rescheduling policies as well as some offices require a cancellation with plenty of notice in order to refund a fee.

Being Prepared Sets the Stage for the Best Possible Outcome for Oklahoma Divorce

Keep in mind that deciding to consult with a lawyer is a serious undertaking and one which can be quite expensive.  Because of this, you will want to get as much out of your initial consultation as possible.  Being prepared and organized from the beginning is the best way to avoid wasting both time and money—and it sets the stage nicely for the best outcome in your case. 

Do You Need to Speak to an Oklahoma Family Law Attorney About Your Divorce?

I'm a South Tulsa family law attorney serving clients in Jenks, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Claremore, Collinsville, Glenpool, Muskogee, Owasso, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, and throughout Oklahoma. Contact Diana the Lawyer online or call 918-605-4826 to schedule a consultation to discuss how to best address your divorce, child custody, and visitation concerns.