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Attorney Morgan Mouchette Explains Why Consultations with Different Divorce Lawyers Are Necessary

Authority Magazine

There is always an influx of new divorce actions after the first of the year, hence why many professionals (and even Google) refer to January as Divorce Month. Because many people are in the mindset, “I am going to jump start my resolutions for 2023,” filing for a divorce is often on the top of the list. Why? Once the holidays are a distant memory and everyone settles back into the daily routine, couples often feel it is the perfect opportunity to go their separate ways. But, before pulling the trigger and telling your spouse you want out, make sure you have the right team guiding you for this life altering transition. Most, if not all people, retain an attorney. Having a legal professional is necessary to help you understand the laws where you live. As you know from reading this column, there are pros and cons to every situation, including getting a divorce. CON: not finding the right person for your matter can be costly. PRO: there are many terrific professionals to choose from and you are in control of the individual you want representing you. How do you do that? Schedule a “consultation” and go meet a few different experts you think could be a match. A face-to-face conversation is an important place to start this new relationship you are about to embark on, and Morgan Mouchette is here to explain why. Morgan Mouchette is a Partner in the New York City office of Blank Rome. Morgan handles complex matrimonial matters for high-net-worth and high-profile clients. She provides individuals and families with tailored and strategic support to navigate and move on from life’s most difficult outcomes, including divorce.

Ilyssa Panitz: Why is scheduling a consultation crucial before you retain an attorney to handle your divorce?

Morgan Mouchette: You should have a good sense of the different players in the field before you choose who you want to represent you. By having a consultation, both you and the attorney can get a good sense of each other and decide whether it’s a good fit personality-wise, financially, and practically.

Ilyssa Panitz: Are face-to-face meetings more effective to see if you gel with this legal professional?

Morgan Mouchette: In a post-COVID world, I don’t think that face-to-face meetings are necessarily more effective than speaking on the phone or speaking on Zoom. Throughout COVID, I’ve done many client meetings remotely with great success.

Ilyssa Panitz: How do consultation meetings work and is there a written agenda?

Morgan Mouchette: I view consultations as a chance to educate prospective clients about the issues that they’re going to face in their divorce while understanding the basics of their case so that I can tailor my advice. There usually isn’t a written agenda, but if there are specific concerns that the client has, they should raise those, so the attorney understands some of the minutiae of what is expected to come in a case.

lyssa Panitz: Do people have to pay for a consultation?

Morgan Mouchette: Very often people do have to pay for a consultation, however, whether an attorney charges for consultation time is a case-by-case basis at the attorney’s discretion. Usually, you would be charged that attorney’s hourly fee for the time spent in the meeting.

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"Attorney Morgan Mouchette Explains Why Consultations with Different Divorce Lawyers Are Necessary," by Ilyssa Panitz was published in Authority Magazine on December 19, 2022.