If you're going through a tough time in your marriage you're usually doing one of two things; actively trying to improve things with your partner and feeling knocked back on your heels about what the future holds.
I get it because I've been there, as have have the many clients I've worked with, and friends and family who've navigated this bumpy road in life.
One question I get a lot is :
"When is the right time to meet with a divorce attorney?"
The fact is that If you're asking when, it's probably time.
A crucial step in your separation or divorce journey is selecting an attorney who aligns with your values and meets your unique needs.
Here's how to get started: When Should You Meet With A Divorce Attorney
Finding a Family Law Attorney
Two ways to kick start the process of how to find a reputable attorney are:
Explore online directories and legal websites for local attorneys
Start comparing websites, researching what amount of each attorneys practice is family law, and how long they've been practicing.
Ask friends or professionals you trust for recommendations
More often than not we know a friend or a friend of a friend who's gone through the process. Take a deep breath and reach out to them. No shame. Other people who've gone through this time in life get how vulnerable you feel and how important it is to share information. Trust your gut about who is safe to confide in.
PRO TIP: Don't have anyone in your immediate circle you can ask? Contact a local librarian to help you track down local resources.
Questions to Ask a Divorce Attorney
First meetings can feel a little overwhelming. But don't forget, this consultation is as much for you as it is for them.
Start making a list of questions about your situation. Not sure what to ask? Grab my freebie, 24 Questions To Ask A Divorce Attorney Or Mediator! It's a great guide to help you get the ball rolling on what to ask.
Knowledge is power, and having a financial game plan is key. Prepare for your initial consultations by:
Gathering up key financial documents
Creating a realistic budget
What Documents to Bring
Arm yourself with essential financial documents like:
Proof of income
Past tax returns
Deeds to any properties
Recent bank statements
Details about retirement accounts
A list of your debts and credit cards
This Get Organized worksheet walks you through everything you'll need. How easy is that?
During your consultations, apart from getting to know each other, attorneys will gather information about your case, discuss options and strategies, answer any concerns you may have, and help you feel more at ease with the process.
Remember, you're sizing them up as much as they're sizing you up. You want to hire someone you feel is tonally on par with your point of view. Finding the right fit can bit a bit like Goldilocks finding the right bed. Take your time and make sure you are good with your choice.
YOU are always in control during your separation or divorce. Don't like your attorney or mediator? Stop the process.
Think an important point isn't being addressed? Speak up.
Don't understand something being discussed? Bring it up.
No one will care about the details of your life during divorce the way that you do.
The fact is that early preparation can substantially reduce the overall financial implications of a divorce — less billable hours and reduced costs. So, think of doing all the above as an investment in your future.
Remember, you're in control here. My advice? Make a plan to get on top of your details and schedule that consultation with a divorce attorney ASAP.
Your future self will thank you!
Want to ask a divorce attorney questions ASAP? Good news, I'm going live with family law attorney Bill Farias Friday 10/27 on Instagram at 11a PT/1p CT/2p EST.
Join us live and ask Bill and me anything about divorce prep and planning, or DM or email me (email@example.com) your question before Thursday 10/26 at midnight and we'll answer it live and you can watch a reply when it's posted to my blog.
Want to jump-start the process with a separation or divorce prep consultation? Click HERE to set a time to chat with me and we'll assess where you are in the process and what your next steps should be.