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If you are planning on seeking a consultation with a divorce attorney, get prepared before you go. Before you schedule a consultation with a divorce attorney, ask if their initial consultation is free of charge. If it is not, make sure you understand what the cost will be for the initial consultation.
Once you have scheduled an appointment, prepare a list of questions to ask the attorney that is specific to your case, and have the attorney address them in the consultation.
The following is a list of questions you may want to ask the attorney in the consultation:

  • How long have you been handling divorce cases?
  • Do you have experience with the specific issues in my case?
  • Do you routinely practice family law in front of the judges in my jurisdiction?
  • What is your opinion regarding taking a case to trial verses settling a case?
  • What is your opinion regarding mediation?
  • What are your office hours and days that you are open?
  • Are you available to me by telephone, email, text, Zoom, or cell phone?
  • What if I have after-hours questions?
  • What if I have an after-hours emergency?
  • If I retain you, will you be the attorney representing me, or will another attorney in your office be handling my case?
  • What is your hourly rate?
  • What is your retainer fee (initial deposit)?
  • Am I billed for costs? If so, what costs will I be billed for?
  • Will the initial deposit be enough to complete the divorce? If not, how often will I have to replenish the retainer?
  • Will my spouse be required to pay my attorney’s fees?
  • Will I be required to pay my spouse’s attorney’s fees?
  • Am I allowed to move out of the marital home while the divorce is pending?
  • Is there anything I should be doing to protect myself financially, or protect the marital assets?
  • Will my spouse have to pay me spousal support?
  • Will I have to pay my spouse spousal support?
  • What will happen to the marital home during and after the divorce?
  • Will I or my spouse get exclusive use and possession of the marital home?
  • Who will be responsible for payment of the household expenses during the divorce?



Laurie Schmitt, PLLC is a West Michigan family law attorney specializing in collaborative divorce as well as separation, divorce, child custody and support, paternity, and other family law litigation. She is licensed by Michigan State Bar and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, and has extensive advanced training in divorce mediation and collaborative divorce. Contact Laurie at (616) 608-4634 for a free initial consultation.