Meeting with a divorce attorney for the first time is often intimidating and stressful. In fact, many people would probably describe the entire divorce process with nothing but negative adjectives. As such, it is not surprising that a person may want to bring a friend or family member to a first meeting with a divorce attorney. While this moral support may be helpful in some ways, this may not be the best idea.
First, while you may be very close with this person, you may not have told them all the details surrounding your divorce. For example, you may bring your mother who is unaware that you cheated on your spouse. As such, you may hold some information back, which could work to your detriment in your divorce case. Your attorney needs to know everything even remotely relevant to your marriage and divorce in order to most effectively represent you.
Further, the other person in the room may feel the need to offer his/her two-cents about the divorce, whether it is about his/her prior divorce or just a general opinion about what you are going through. Most of the time this information does not help the attorney better understand your case and, more often than not, it can take up valuable time for which you are paying. In addition, having another person in the room may impact the attorney client privilege, which requires that everything communicated between you and your attorney remain confidential. If another person is present, that person may become privy to information that would be best to remain strictly confidential.
If you still feel that you need/want to bring a friend or family member to help you get through that first meeting, be sure to schedule a follow up with your attorney so you can speak more candidly. You should feel comfortable opening up to your attorney about all the details (good and bad) of your marriage so that the attorney can most effectively represent you in your divorce case. If you don’t feel comfortable being completely open and candid, perhaps you have not found the best divorce attorney for you. Keep looking until you find someone with whom you are comfortable sharing this intimate part of your life.