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Lawyer consultation what to ask

crazyblindsided posted 9/11/2019 11:00 AM

Well I guess I'm done. My WS keeps showing me who he is and my detachment has been going really well because I feel a lot stronger. I don't have anymore fear. Is this what it feels like to be done? I don't really feel anything at all except that I want out of my M. I don't care if the kids want to live with him either. I need to save myself now.

Are there any specific questions I should ask or items I should bring to first consultation like tax returns, bank statements, etc?

Also I will be divorcing a Narcissist so I realize this is going to be a challenge but I've mastered not reacting to him and have been grey rocking it pretty good. He is coming undone.

WornDown posted 9/11/2019 11:24 AM

If you planning to hire THIS attorney, bring your financials, otherwise, just go with questions. Like:

What is the process? How long should I expect it to take (assuming no knock-down drag out fights)?

What kind of financial shape would I expect to be in at the end of this? (have a general idea of your finances (you don't need to know to the penny), what kind of retirement savings (401k? Pension?) do you both have, how much in loans/mortgages?)

What would custody of the kids likely look like?

What would division of property look like?

What does a typical divorce cost?

Can I move out or will that be held against me in custody/property division?

If I do move out, can I get temporary spousal/child support from the STBX?


Those are a good place to start.

Since your STBX is a narc, ask the attorney if they have any experience dealing with "high-conflict" divorces. That's the term attorneys use instead of crazy - they can't diagnose someone, but they can describe their behavior, and the personality disordered are definitely high-conflict.

You'll want an attorney who has had experience dealing with these.

[This message edited by WornDown at 11:25 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

crazyblindsided posted 9/11/2019 11:36 AM

Thank you those questions are helpful. This lawyer I'm going to is a high-conflict D lawyer. I got the info from a woman who D her Narcissist.

When do you tell the Narc you are D'ing them. I want to wait until I have exactly everything where I need it. I don't want him to blindside me in any way. Hoovering isn't going to work this time either because I have no feelings for him.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 11:37 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

HellFire posted 9/11/2019 11:57 AM

You don't have to tell him at all. Let the divorce papers do it for you.

As someone who has followed your story, I am thrilled you have become so strong, and you're leaving this POS.

barcher144 posted 9/11/2019 12:26 PM

I am terrible at hiring attorneys! I am on my third one!

Also, I am divorcing a narcissist...

Are there any specific questions I should ask or items I should bring to first consultation like tax returns, bank statements, etc?

I would not bring any of this to a first meeting. You should be interviewing and learning about the divorce process.

How does the divorce process work in your state?

What are the pertinent issues that determine division of assets, child custody, and/or alimony?

How does your attorney prefer to communicate? How quickly does your attorney respond to emails and/or voice mails? How much time does s/he charge for email?

What experience does your attorney have with high conflict divorces?

Also I will be divorcing a Narcissist so I realize this is going to be a challenge but I've mastered not reacting to him and have been grey rocking it pretty good. He is coming undone.

I would actually STOP gray rocking for a bit. Get him to calm down, think that he is the center of your universe. Meanwhile, get your ducks in a row as far as your divorce. Find a new place to live. Get a safety system in place. Get paperwork together.

And, then, one day, serve him with papers and be prepared for hellfire to rain down upon you.

I have been watching a video related to parental alienation lately. The speak is a well-known psychologist who explains that narcissists are incapable of processing sadness, so they get angry instead. This is their reaction:

How dare you divorce me!

AbandonedGuy posted 9/11/2019 12:34 PM

I spoke with probably 4 attorneys and they usually asked the same questions:

-How much do you and your spouse make
-Do you have kids (which I did not, so we didn't delve into this)
-How much do you have in assets (house, cars, items of particular value)
-How much do you have in retirement accounts
-What do you want to get out of this
-Has your spouse obtained legal representation
-Would you be able to mediate rather than go to court

That's off the top of my head. Funny aside: there's a law office in the area which specifically caters to men and, presumably, their unique legal struggles, and of course that slimy bitch hired them so that I couldn't. Always the schemer, that one.

I'd add, each one had their own strategy. One walked me through how to really drag out the process and bilk every penny out of her that I could. He was the most expensive guy and you could tell he knew how to suck divorcing couples dry. Another was apprehensive about dragging it out and discussed ways to cruise through as effectively as possible. The others gave the type of advice you would expect. Very eye-opening hearing from several different lawyers.

[This message edited by AbandonedGuy at 12:36 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

barcher144 posted 9/11/2019 13:19 PM

The others gave the type of advice you would expect. Very eye-opening hearing from several different lawyers.

When I interviewed people to become Lawyer#3, I told them who my previous lawyers had been. The responses that I received were amazingly consistent with each other and my personal experience.

Lawyer#1 was a nice, sweet, caring woman who was once a good lawyer. Due to health issues, though, she has slowed down and she's not a good choice for a high conflict divorce.

Lawyer#2 is very smart and very talented, but lazy and unprofessional... likely to not pay attention to the million small details that make/break a divorce case.

Similarly, they asked about STBXW's lawyer. They were unanimous in letting me know that she was generally disliked and abrasive... but very good.

So, maybe, if you interview multiple lawyers... ask what they know about the others?

Chili posted 9/11/2019 14:43 PM

Hey crazyblindsided - sorry that you've ended up here in this forum, but wanted to welcome you. There's a ton of great people over here to help guide you from their own experiences - some still going through it - some like me years out from it.

We joined within a month of each other and I've followed you through the years. Keep tapping into that strength of yours and stay firm in detaching - you've got this.

Everyone has given you great input on the attorney consultation. I will reinforce to not show your hand - at all. On anything. Or try to negotiate on your own. Or even engage with him. Once the official filing paperwork is done and he has been served - your new favorite words should be: "Talk to my/your attorney."

And hold on tight - there's a good chance his reactions about his new reality are going to make him unhinged. Keep on with that good self care. Protect yourself. And know you're doing what you need to do to take care of yourself. You have the right to do that in spades.

WornDown posted 9/11/2019 15:01 PM

When do you tell the Narc you are D'ing them. I want to wait until I have exactly everything where I need it. I don't want him to blindside me in any way.

I wouldn't say anything.

Get your ducks in a row - a place lined up, separate bank accounts, etc. Then make your move.

Also, just having him served the paperwork will let him know what's going on. No need to see him and be subjected to his anger.

barcher144 posted 9/11/2019 16:02 PM

I wouldn't say anything.
Get your ducks in a row - a place lined up, separate bank accounts, etc. Then make your move.

Also, just having him served the paperwork will let him know what's going on. No need to see him and be subjected to his anger.

And you know that it's gospel truth if Worndown and I agree on something.

I would actually STOP gray rocking for a bit. Get him to calm down, think that he is the center of your universe. Meanwhile, get your ducks in a row as far as your divorce. Find a new place to live. Get a safety system in place. Get paperwork together.

And, then, one day, serve him with papers and be prepared for hellfire to rain down upon you.

homewrecked2011 posted 9/12/2019 22:12 PM

I went to 3 attys. They had 3 different ideas.

When I chose my atty, their plan was for me to pay the retainer, then he would draw up the papers and file, then he would have WS served papers 2 weeks b4 the court date, as that is all the notice you are required to give in my state.

My atty told me, once we are served, we couldn’t drain any $$ from accounts, and we couldn’t take on new debt.

Lastly, for most cases, there won’t b a big court hearing. The attys like to make deals, then have the judge sign off on what everyone has agreed to. Here’s hoping yours goes like that!!!

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 10:17 PM, September 12th (Thursday)]

Muggle posted 9/14/2019 02:03 AM

Similarly, they asked about STBXW's lawyer. They were unanimous in letting me know that she was generally disliked and abrasive... but very good.

My attorney told me that a well respected lawyer that works well with their peers will cost less in the long run, because they are after resolution, over conflict. They will work harder to get their client and the opposing council to reach reasonable settlements. An attorney that's "high conflict" has the skills, but will sometimes have a win at all costs attitude, which equals $$$ for you. The best attorney is someone you can openly speak to about your concerns, that listens and tells you what you need to hear, NOT what you WANT to hear. They offer you their best legal advise on what to push on, what to let go of.

My attorney had 3 main questions.

1. What do you have? (assets)
2. What is it worth?
3. Whose going to get it?

He asked a few questions about kids, ages, and if we had pets, and anticipated any conflict over these things. He outlined his fees, and gave me a huge packet of information about what not to do, and what documents to start gathering.

A Google search will bring up tons of helpful lists of things to have documents for. It will also show you potential things to watch for (dirty tricks). I made sure I had multiple copies of all documents, and don't keep them all where your EX has access.

Expect your Narc EX to make all sorts of statements that aren't based in fact. Stay on the legal high road, no matter what he does, and let your attorney do the heavy lifting if needed. Don't react or communicate direct with him if you can avoid it. Emails are good ways to limit communication while also providing a paper trail of EXACTLY what was said by both parties.

Good luck, it will be a roller coaster if it's like what mine put me through. I prevailed but it took on a life of it's own and drained me emotionally. I refused to let him control the ONE part of my life that I had left, so I fought him legally.

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