The first step in the process is hiring a law firm that has attorneys experienced in family law. Whether or not you have children, there are many issues other than child custody that have to be handled before a divorce can be entered by the court. For example, you should be aware of your rights with regard to visitation, parenting time, child support, alimony, division of property and assets, as well as division of debt. For example, there may be property that is not included in the "marital estate" and is not subject to what is referred to as equitable distribution. Likewise, there may be assets and income of your spouse that should be included in the marital estate but that your spouse is hiding or is claiming are excluded. You should also get advice to make sure that your spouse's debts are not your responsibility after divorce. Failing to be aware of these issues will prevent you from obtaining a fair outcome or settlement of your case. Once a case is settled or decided, it is very difficult to go back to court to change a settlement or a court ruling. Therefore, getting a lawyer who can advise you at the onset is crucial to making sure your rights are protected and that you get what you are entitled to. An experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate the process to make sure that your rights are protected but that the process is also cost-efficient for you. Your divorce lawyer can also explain that there are many avenues available to those getting divorced, which allow them to use less acrimonious and less costly alternatives to litigation.
Disclaimer: This answer was provided by an attorney selected to Super Lawyers, and is intended to be an educated opinion only. This answer should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.
When clients first come to me and tell me that they believe they are about to get divorced, they often follow up this declaration with a concern: …
Answered by: Jacqueline N. Newman, 2 days ago