One of the challenges all Charleston divorce lawyers deal with at the outset of a case is having a client who is not prepared to begin the process. Often times, this cannot be avoided and a client is surprised by the filing, but in many cases divorce is something that is contemplated long before the papers have been filed.
If you are contemplating filing, or fear that your spouse may be contemplating filing, here are three steps you can take prior to retaining counsel to make the process easier:
1. Get your financial house in order.
No, this does not mean attempting to hide or dispose of assets. However, it will be very important for you to know what makes up your marital estate prior to filing and to establish a budget for yourself if you do not have one already. If you are not the spouse that handles the finances, you will want to at a minimum be able to identify the financial institutions that you have a relationship with. Typically, a credit report, previous tax returns, and a current mortgage statement can help your Charleston divorce lawyer learn a lot about the current state of your marital finances.
2. Get your emotional house in order.
It is an understatement to suggest that this process is going to be an extremely challenging for you. You will experience many different emotions while going through this process and you will need people to talk to! Get a therapist. Establish a relationship with somebody that you can trust and talk to throughout the next year. You do not want to fall into the trap of utilizing your Charleston divorce lawyer as an emotional sounding board. A lawyer’s job is to focus on the facts and law of your case, and emotion can muddy the waters of that. We aren’t trained to help you deal with the emotional aspects of a divorce, and frankly, allowing your attorney to focus on the law and facts of your case is a good way to keep the cost of your divorce down.
3. Anticipate the adjustments that will need to be made for your children.
This can range from time-sharing considerations, to purchasing extra sets of sports equipment, to hiring them a therapist of their own. No matter how amicable your divorce is, this process is likely to be difficult for your kids. Spend time developing a plan to minimize the impact to their lives to the greatest degree possible. Make sure any coaches or teachers have contact information for both of the parents to cut down on miscommunication.
Whether you are considering filing, or concerned that your spouse my file, it is important to be certain that you are prepared to deal with the challenges the process may hold for you. Contact our office for a consultation to discuss further.