Questions To Ask A Divorce Lawyer During The Initial Consultation

Divorce law is all about preparation and strategy.

Only a tiny percentage of divorces will end up in a divorce trial. The majority of opposed (contested) divorces will just have interim applications argued in front of a Judge or Magistrate before the matter gets settled. It is as such unlikely that you will have to testify in your divorce trial.

It is therefore beneficial to start off your divorce by preparing for it. 

Ready yourself for your initial meeting with a Divorce Lawyer. It is likely that the Attorney will supply you with a lot of information and ask you for even more information and documentation.

Think about the issues that you are concerned about; these issues may relate to:

  • how you will pay for the legal fees and what the divorce will cost you;
  • what will happen to the children after the divorce; will they stay with you or your spouse?
  • where will the minor children stay while the divorce is on-going?
  • what contact the non-primary parent will have with the children;
  • what results you can expect (i.e. what assets you and your spouse will likely keep after the divorce?);
  • how the estate(s), i.e. assets and liabilities will be calculated and who will
  • keep what assets/liabilities?
  • your respective rights and responsibilities;
  • the divorce procedure;
  • how you can protect your assets;
  • issues relating to spousal and child maintenance;
  • can you ‘evict’ your spouse from the communal home?
  • etcetera.

Documents that you should bring with to your first divorce consultation may include the following (if applicable):

  • marriage certificate;
  • children’s birth certificate(s);
  • list of assets and liabilities with substantiating documents if possible;
  • record of income and expenses with corroborating documents if possible;
  • details of any incidents of domestic violence;
  • a list of questions that you may have;
  • antenuptial agreement;
  • a list of relevant facts relating to your marriage.

The first consultation with a Divorce Attorney may cause anxiety for many people. Good Divorce Attorneys will not judge you and will try and put you at ease.

If you cannot obtain the information listed above in time for your first consult, do not cancel the appointment as this will merely delay the inevitable. You can always get and supply the information later.


Martin Vermaak

Practising Attorney


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