Ending a marriage is a serious decision, and not one anyone comes to lightly. Not only does it impact the emotional and social lives of both partners, but it can also deeply affect their finances and their ability to parent as well. This is why if you are considering a divorce, it is crucial to talk to a divorce lawyer about what to expect and how to best navigate the challenges that come with separating.
Use a Specialized Divorce Lawyer
Not all lawyers are created equal. While it may seem obvious, make sure when researching lawyers you look for one with extensive experience and specialization in divorce. If children are involved, make sure any lawyer you speak to has experience navigating the sometimes tricky world of custody arrangements and child support as well. Even if your cousin’s friend’s brother knows a great divorce lawyer who can do it all, this is definitely a time when you want to find someone with those specialized skills.
Know Your Rights
You may think that everything you both own gets split down the middle in a divorce, but the reality is more complicated than that. Assets that were owned prior to marriage, inheritances, family businesses, and even certain earnings during the union are protected during a divorce. A lawyer will be able to walk you through what you might expect to split, what you might expect to lose, and what you might expect to keep. They will also be able to advise you against certain mistakes that would hurt you with a judge, such as preemptively emptying out a joint bank account.
Protect Your Assets
While you shouldn’t take all your money and run when going through a divorce, there are things you can do to protect your assets, and a lawyer can advise you on the best way forward. They may advise against moving out of the family home, for example, as it may become more difficult to claim it as an equal asset or force a sale. Or they may simply be able to advise you in tracking your own and your spouse’s earnings and spending in order to present the most accurate picture possible to a judge in the future.
Child Custody and Support
While asset division is an important part of a divorce, for anyone with a child it is not the most critical concern. Many parents delay or avoid a wanted divorce out of fear of losing access to their child. A good divorce lawyer can tell you what steps you can take to protect you, protect your child, and hopefully even protect the co-parenting relationship even as the romantic relationship ends.
While divorce is always sad, and often stressful, it doesn’t have to be messy or drawn out. Hiring a divorce lawyer isn’t a declaration of war, rather, it’s the first step towards a peace treaty. The goal of a good lawyer will be to compassionately guide you through the process and help to ensure a fair outcome for all parties involved.
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