If you are searching the internet and this article has struck your attention, you are unfortunately coming to the realization that your marriage is ending. The actual words may have already been said, but it could be something that you are keeping to yourself. I don’t blame you. This is a big decision and one that will affect you, your spouse, your children and all of your family and friends. This is not something you should go through alone and the first piece of advice I have for you is:
1. Talk to a professional or someone you trust
A marriage counselor, therapist or even a trusted friend will help you decide whether divorce is the right answer. I wish I had that answer for you, but I don’t. No one but you has that answer, but taking the time to talk through the issues you are facing will be enlightening. If after taking the time to sort through what you want and you decide that the best thing for you and your family is to end your marriage, your next step is to:
2. Get organized
In an ideal world, we would always be perfectly organized with all of our bills in a database, our kids activities in one calendar and possess an inventory of everything we own and how much its worth. The reality is that most people are just getting by and being organized has fallen to the wayside. Your attorney will not know what assets you have, what debt you have, your incomes, your children’s schedules, or a number of other things unless you have these items prepared for him or her. A word to the wise, the more organized this information is, the less expensive your legal costs will be. After you have organized your life and tracked down everything,
3. Find an attorney you trust
If you have started your search you have likely noticed similar catchphrases by divorce lawyers. Trustworthy, compassionate, affordable, experienced, you get the idea. There is a reason they are similar, these are the things our clients have told us in the past that are most important. I also think it is important that your divorce attorney focuses the majority of their practice on family law issues. The reality is that when an attorney does too many practice areas, he or she is not going to be able to stay on top of all of the changes in the field. An attorney that focuses on family law is also familiar with how the courts, judges, magistrates and other attorneys behave. He or she will be better at projecting the likely outcome and aid in settling issues without going through the expense of litigation.