A divorce can take a toll on you physically and emotionally and can cost a fortune. However, if you feel the marriage is ending, then you must prepare yourself by contacting a divorce lawyer. However, before doing so, you need to ensure that you are well prepared. Below are some of the things you should do before contacting a divorce attorney.
Contact your Local County or city bar association for referrals. These bars association will refer you to qualified divorce lawyers either online or through the telephone.
Get referrals from friends and relatives. Your friends may have gone through a divorce or they may know someone who went through a divorce. Ask them how their experience with the divorce lawyer was and whether they can hire the same lawyer again. If their answer is yes, then you should also consider hiring the same lawyer.
Get reviews on the lawyer you are considering hiring and go through them very carefully. There are some review sites online that will provide you with very good honest reviews or warnings on law firms. This will help you hire only the lawyers with good reputation in their field.
Assemble all financial records that you can possibly assemble. Assets breakdown and financial settlements are two main aspects of a divorce settlement. However, being equipped with all your financial details will make it easy in determining what you might be entitled in the divorce statement.
Assemble all the evidence that you require to discuss why the marriage is ending. If your spouse was unfaithful or did something that calls for the marriage to end, then it can have a very big impact on the settlement. If this is what occurred, then gather all evidence and take it to your divorce attorney.
Obtain copies of any agreement that you might have signed with your spouse. These include both prenuptial and post nuptial agreement you signed with your spouse. These agreements may dictate the settlement you are entitled to or might even contain other provisions on what should happen in case you dissolve your marriage. Take all these copies to your divorce lawyer.
Be prepared to share with your lawyer your hopes for child custody. Understand what kind of custody arrangements you want before you go to see your lawyer.
Carry with you any legal document you may have signed or received. In case your spouse has sent divorce papers or you have signed separation papers, you will have to take them to your attorney. Your lawyer will use them to determine what you have agreed on or what is being required of you.
Get money to pay the retainer of your lawyer. Most lawyers charges fees at an hourly rate although some might charge a fixed amount for the whole divorce process. However, most lawyers will require you to pay some retainer. A retainer is a down payment on the total legal fees you are most likely to incur.
Ensure you do all the above discussed things before contacting a divorce lawyer to make sure you are thoroughly prepared for the legal process that might follow.