5 Things You Need to Do Before You Talk to a Divorce Attorney
If you are considering a divorce, you are not alone by any means. It has been estimated that between 40 and 50% of all marriages end in divorce in the United States. By some estimates, a couple divorces every 36 seconds. That translates into about 2,400 divorces every day or 16,800 each week and 876,000 each years. Before you head over to talk to a divorce attorney, there are some things you can do for yourself.
- Talk to a therapist who is experienced at helping couples. Even if you are totally sure that your marriage is over and cannot be saved, going to a couples counselor can help you deal with what is happening. If you can get your spouse to go, that is a good sign and can indicate that the two of you can have a better experience dissolving your marriage. If they will not participate, you should still go. No matter what the reasons are for your reasons for your divorce, you will experience a lot of emotions. Having a counselor to help you process all of this will make it a lot easier. Some people look to their divorce lawyer to help with this but they are not there for that.
- Before you make your move, get advice from a divorce attorney. No matter what ends up happening with your marriage, knowledge is power. You should have as much information at your fingertips as possible when you are considering getting a divorce. There are a lot of details involved and some divorces are more complicated than others. If there are children, you may need to talk to a child custody attorney or child support attorney about the issues that will be raised there. When it comes to ending a marriage, it really is never too early to start protecting yourself and your interests. Talking to divorce lawyers early in the process is a big part of that.
- Do not move out of your home without talking to a divorce attorney. In many parts of the country, a person gives up some of their rights if they move out of their marital home. You need a good reason to move out if you must. If there is any kind of domestic violence and you are not safe in the home, you should absolutely get yourself someplace that is safe. Any steps you stake to keep yourself and your children safe are considered to be good reasons to leave. If that is not the case, before you opt to leave your home, you should talk to a divorce attorney. They can help you protect yourself and your interests.
- Get documentation of any violence. If you have been the victim of domestic violence, get whatever documentation you can. This means, you should get medical treatment and even file a police report. These cases can easily devolve into a “he said, she said” situation but if you have documentation, that is less likely to happen. Take pictures of any bruises you have. This is very important for your safety and to protect yourself.
- Start protecting your finances before you start the divorce proceedings. If there are items that you are worried your spouse may try to sell, you should do what you can to take possession of them. Talk to your divorce attorney about what steps you can take to protect your stake in any assets that are owned with your spouse. This includes your property, vehicles, art work, jewelry or business assets. If you have joint credit cards, you should freeze them right away so your spouse does not go on a spending spree that you may be liable for later. In some areas, it is possible to get a injunction preventing your spouse from liquidating any assets that are owned by both of you. The rules that govern the divorce process differ from state to state so you will need to talk to your divorce attorney about your options.
There are no real “winners” in divorce. It is always a stressful experience. You can make it go better if yuo take steps to protect yourself before it all starts.