If you are considering a divorce in Illinois, you might want to have a consultation with an attorney to get some of your general questions answered and get an idea of what to expect throughout the process. The better prepared that you are in this initial consultation, the more an attorney may be able to help you.
An attorney will first need to ensure that no conflicts of interest exist before making the appointment. Once this is established, you should gather as much financial information as possible to take with you. This might include tax returns, bank statements and information on retirement accounts and investments. You should be ready with specific information about the value of these accounts as well as any debts you have. In addition, if you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you should bring a copy.
Understanding your options
An attorney will also take down basic information such as how many children you have, your employment details and when you were married. With all of this information, the attorney will be in a better situation to give you a more helpful overview of how your divorce is likely to proceed and of any specific issues that might arise concerning property division, child custody, or child and spousal support. An attorney may also explain the options for both litigation and alternate dispute resolution methods. Finally, the attorney should be transparent about their fee structure and how you will be billed.
Making your choice
You may want to visit more than one attorney before you find one that is right for you. While their background means that they can offer advice about how to approach your particular case, you should not feel pressured to be more aggressive than you are comfortable with or discouraged from going to court if you think it is necessary. An attorney can explain the pros and cons of all approaches and may help you develop a strategy based on the one that you choose.