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Selecting a competent and ethnical lawyer to represent you in a separation or divorce, requires the exercise of good judgment at the very time judgment may be clouded by emotional distress. In some instances, it may be desirable to bring a trusted family member or friend to your initial consultation. There are, however, issues involving attorney-client confidentiality when a third party is present at the conference.

At the initial conference, your lawyer should explain the laws and procedures of New York which may affect your legal situation and any important legal deadlines. It is important that the pros and cons of pursuing litigation as contrasted with a negotiated settlement, be thoroughly discussed.

​The realities of divorce can be grim. A “good news” lawyer should not automatically be selected over a “bad news” lawyer. A lawyer should not try to induce a client to engage him or her by offering an overly optimistic and unrealistic description of the outcome of a case. On the other hand, it is not desirable to engage a lawyer who seems defeatist or passive or one who appears to be lowering legitimate expectations for a fair and reasonable outcome.


​It is possible that your spouse will attempt to interview well-qualified matrimonial attorneys in your area to prevent them from subsequently representing you. Thus, it may be important for you to consult with an attorney at the early stages of martial strife.