Ask A Family Divorce Lawyer: 5 Common Questions
Choosing a family divorce lawyer is almost always a difficult task. If there are children under eighteen involved, it’s critical that to find an attorney who has experience with family courts and dealing with child access and care issues.
Remember that you will need to discuss very personal, and often emotional issues with your family divorce lawyer, so it’s important to feel comfortable with the attorney you choose.
For those going through the divorce process for the first time (or considering it) you will likely have hundreds of questions about what happens and what you need to do. Here are answers to five of the most common questions about divorce for those new to the process:
1) I’m Getting Divorced, Now What?
First, ask yourself if divorce is truly the right choice. Divorce is a huge decision that will have a lifelong impact on you, your spouse, children, family, and friends.
If you’re one hundred percent sure that divorce is your only option, than the very first thing to do is find your marriage certificate. It may sound odd, but a family divorce lawyer can’t begin divorce proceedings without it. Once you have that in hand, start looking for an attorney.
If you have children, the next step is to ensure they will be taken care of. As much as possible, co-parenting should be maintained during the divorce process.
Finally, it’s critical to get your documents in order. Make a list of your assets (bank accounts, cars, jewelry, property, etc.), liabilities (loans, credit cards, bills, etc.), and income. Do the best you can, and do not access, copy, or remove documents from your spouse.
2) What Are My Rights?
In the case of divorce, the law exists to protect the financially weaker partner and any children. The law tries to ensure that all family members are housed and have sufficient income to live on (which might require spousal support).
When considering a fair financial settlement, all the assets, income, and other resources will need to be disclosed to both parties via their respective family divorce lawyer. The settlement will be based on the principle of equality and accounts for both spouse’s and children’s needs.
3) Will I Get More Money If My Spouse Cheated On Me?
No. Whether a spouse cheated on their partner does not impact what a court will order regarding finances.
However, if your ex-spouse moves in with a new partner, that can affect the level of spousal support you receive.
Bad behavior from a spouse will only impact a divorce settlement in very rare and extreme circumstances, or if the behavior is financial in nature, like deliberately hiding assets.
4) How Can I Protect Myself During The Divorce Process?
The most important thing to remember once a divorce has begun is: don’t leave the house. Moving out gives your spouse a legal advantage, so avoid it if at all possible.
Try to put together as much legitimate paperwork as you can, and again: do not take documents that don’t belong to you. A family divorce lawyer cannot accept or use evidence that was improperly obtained. For example, emails, text messages, briefcase papers, etc. that belong to your partner can’t be given to your attorney.
It’s very common for one or both spouses to be unaware of their partner’s financial assets, income, and debts. If this is true for you, be honest with your attorney and they will help you get the information you need.
5) What Is The Most Common Mistake Made During Divorce?
There are two. The first common mistake is focusing too much time and attention to assigning blame for the failure of the marriage. Regardless of the reasons for the marriage’s failure (including infidelity), settlements are based on other factors in all but the most extreme circumstances.
The second most common mistake — and the more important one to avoid — is failing to disclose all relevant information to your family divorce lawyer.
Though it can be difficult, it is critical to share as much information with your lawyer as possible, as it relates to your divorce. This sometimes may mean sharing very personal, private, and/or embarrassing details about yourself, your partner, or others you care about.
As mentioned at the beginning — choose a family divorce lawyer you are comfortable with, because they’ll be relying on you just as much as you are on them to make the divorce process as painless and successful as it can be.
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