Even if you haven’t filed paperwork with the court or even if you haven’t decided 100% that you want to get divorced, you may want to consider consulting with a qualified, local divorce attorney. When you consult with an attorney, there should be no obligation to hire them, and you should be able to come in and get the advice you need and your questions answered. At least, when you visit my office, that’s what happens. I even have my clients fill out a form that specifically asks them what questions they most want answered in the consultation, and I ask for their information and documents before we meet, if appropriate, so I can review them in advance of our appointment.
Here are some of the reasons why consulting with an attorney before you file is a good idea:
- If you’ve not decided to divorce yet, you can then at least make an informed decision about what the process is like, the time it takes, the cost, and what you’re entitled to. Relying on what your cousin Susie or your neighbor John got in his/her divorce will NOT help you.
- If you have decided to divorce, then you can make sure that you have all the information – documents, financial information, deeds, insurance documents, etc. – gathered together that you will need. It only takes a flash of anger from your ex to make this information disappear once you’ve filed and served papers.
- You may make a mistake and not even know it. On countless occasions I have had to unravel mistakes made by unrepresented clients or clients who have gone to a document preparer or a paralegal to file their paperwork. It costs much more and takes a great deal of time to undo a mistake than it does to do it right the first time.
- Mistakes can happen in paperwork, and they can happen in court. A trained and experienced lawyer is going to know how to act in court and in front of the judge, and if you do so improperly, then you can dig yourself into a hole that’s nearly impossible to get out of. Your whole life is on the line: your children, your home, your income, your assets, and your future. Isn’t that worth getting proper advice?
A divorce attorney consultation is a few hundred dollars that will serve you in the long run, and help you to avoid these costly mistakes.