If your marriage has reached a breaking point and you are left wondering what to do next, it is important that you reach out to an experienced family law attorney to help and advise you on your next steps. This process can seem overwhelming and is understandably emotional. The experienced family law attorneys at Krum, Gergely, and Oates will guide you each step of the way and ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as you navigate getting a divorce from your spouse. We will work diligently on your behalf to resolve all issues that are a part of getting a divorce, including, but not limited to: division of property and assets, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, and any monetary award. This is a major life change, and it is critical to obtain the guidance of counsel instead of trying to navigate this process on your own.
The first step in working with a family law attorney is setting up an initial consultation. To prepare for your consultation and ensure that the consultation is productive, you should be prepared to discuss the following to ensure that both you and the attorney get as much as possible out of the consultation:
- Children: custody will be handled in the same proceeding as the divorce. You should be prepared to provide information concerning your children, for example number of children, ages, school, any special physical/educational/emotional needs, etc. As well as the type of custody arrangement you envision going forward; what you are open to and the reasons for your proposed arrangement. If you oppose the other partner having a particular schedule, you should also inform you attorney and explain the reasons that you feel that way.
- Employment: provide the attorney with all income streams and gross pay, including how long you have worked for each employer. The attorney will eventually need documentation to support all income streams. Income is important especially when it comes to determining child support as well as spousal support. If you are not employed but have been in the past, it is important to share that information with your attorney, including any professional and educational credentials that you have obtained.
- Assets: part of getting a divorce includes a division of assets. It is important to be as clear as possible when detailing for the attorney the assets that you and your spouse have obtained. The critical point will be whether the assets are considered marital property or not and providing as much detail as to when the assets were acquired and how funded will help inform the attorney assessing your case.
- Debts: also critically important is marital debt. Be sure to inform of debt that you have incurred individually in your name, if any, or debt that is jointly titled in the names of both partners.
- Other Property: if there is any personal property or real estate that has not been brought up but was acquired during the marriage you should be prepared to provide this information to your attorney.
- What Led to the Separation: reasons for the dissolution of a marriage can factor into the court’s consideration as to various aspects of relief they may be awarded. You should be prepared to explain to your attorney the details as to what led to the separation, who moved out, the reasons for doing so, etc.
- Documents: while it is not critical to have documents with you at the first meeting, it can be helpful. In particular if you have already been served with court papers from the other spouse, you want to make sure to send those papers to the attorney ahead of your consultation or bring them with you to the consult. At the consultation, the attorney will let you know what other documents you should consider gathering, such as: income documentation, real estate and banking documentation, other financial documents, text message communications with the other spouse, any prior agreements between the parties.