If you know that you are ready to file for divorce and leave your spouse, but you aren't sure where to start or if it's the right time to make a move, you need a legal consult. You want to meet with a lawyer to talk about your options, find out what you should do, and to make sure that you know what is going on with your finances and that you will be safe when you file. Here are some of the things that you want to discuss right away before you tell your spouse that you are going to file.
Do You Know Your Financial Situation?
Many couples go into a divorce thinking that they know about their financial situation, and what type of income is coming in, what's in savings and what debt is hanging out. The reality is that the spouse is often hiding debt, taking money out of savings accounts or other accounts, or not contributing as they say into retirement savings accounts. You want to have a lawyer start to dig through your finances so you know to be prepared for when you file.
Are You Capable of Mediation?
One of the easiest ways to get through a divorce is to mediate with your spouse. The mediation will help to:
- Get the divorce settled quickly
- Prevent excessive fees to two different lawyers and the courts
- Allow you to negotiate and settle things without needing multiple appointments in the court room
If you think your spouse will sit down with you and mediate a divorce quickly, then this may be the best thing for you to do. If so, talk with the lawyer about bringing in your spouse to talk about it, before serving them with papers.
Do You Fear Your Spouse?
Are you terrified of what your spouse may do to you, your finances, or your children if you serve them with papers and file for a divorce? If you are, then you want to talk with the lawyer about the type of protection that you may need. This may mean anything from staying in a protected location, getting a no contact order and more.
If there are financial problems, the two of you may have to work together so you can file for bankruptcy, take care of some debts or financial strains, and moderate spending and child support so you can get through the divorce process. Talk with a lawyer that offers divorce law services to learn about all your options.