A New Jersey resident who is contemplating a divorce will often want to obtain the assistance of an attorney. It is important to do this well in advance of any court proceedings to allow the attorney enough time to become familiar with the case. Before doing any of this, however, the attorney will always check that no conflicts of interest exist that would prevent him or her from representing the client.
The first appointment with an attorney is for the initial consultation. This is the meeting when the attorney collects as much information as possible from the party that he or she will be representing. This information ranges from the party's contact information to the couple's marriage and financial information, including the date of their marriage and the status of any prenuptial agreement. It is important for the party to provide complete information so that the attorney can accurately estimate the case's outcome.
The attorney will also advise the party during this consultation about other options besides litigation. Cases can drag on for years, so it is best for the parties to come to some type of agreement outside of court to expedite the process. These alternative dispute resolution options include mediation, arbitration and collaborative divorce, each of which has its own positive and negative aspects. The attorney will also discuss the cost of his or her services along with how and when these costs will be billed.
With any divorce case, the process will usually move faster if the parties can come to some type of agreement outside of court. An attorney could assist a client in negotiating a comprehensive settlement agreement that can then be presented to the court for its approval.