A legal separation or divorce will bring many major changes to your life. If you are thinking about leaving your partner, you may not know the full scope of how that will impact your life going forward. Before you make this major decision, it’s wise to learn more about your options.
Speak to a Family Law Attorney
Every separation and divorce is different, so you can’t expect yours to play out the same way as other stories you may have seen in the media or heard about from family members or friends. While divorce may appear commonplace these days, that doesn’t mean it is no longer a serious legal matter that can be very complex. Before you decide when to move forward and how you’ll want to talk to a professional who is knowledgeable in the area and can offer advice that applies to your specific circumstances.
Friends or family may sugarcoat your situation out of personal concern for you, but your family law attorney will not because that is not their role. They will give you the necessary and practical answers that you really need at this time, and this information will serve to better prepare you for what is coming. You may, for example, decide that a legal separation or annulment is more appropriate in your situation than a divorce. Regardless of the situation, talking about all your options with your attorney before you take any action is a wise move.
When you discuss your situation with a family law attorney, you’ll gain a clearer idea of many areas of your divorce, including those below.
• Your finances: How clear is your picture of your financial situation? Can you access shared funds? Do you know exactly what the debts are? Your attorney can help you form a true idea of your finances and let you know how things may change.
• Child custody: Where are your children going to live during the separation or divorce? What can do you to limit the disruption to your children’s lives during this time? Your attorney can explain to you how legal decisions about children are made in separations and divorces.
• The unknown: Your attorney will give you advice that has been personalized for your situation. They can help you with areas you are confused by or concerned with and also identify issues you weren’t even aware of before you make major decisions.
When Should You Contact an Attorney?
As soon as you start seriously thinking about a divorce or separation, you should contact a family law attorney. The decisions that will be made in your divorce settlement agreement or as part of a judge’s ruling will be difficult to change and will have an impact on your life for years to come. Even if you’re not entirely certain that you want to divorce or separate now, the sooner your questions are answered, the sooner you will be able to make a fully informed decision and move forward with your life.
When you do meet with your attorney, be prepared to discuss your situation openly, honestly and in detail. While you may be uncomfortable with the thought at first, your attorney needs to have complete and accurate information about your circumstances in order to give you the best advice in your case. Keep in mind that an experienced family law attorney has likely heard many different things over the course of their career, and they are not going to be shocked or offended by what you tell them as they likely have heard the same thing or something similar in the past.