I've Hired a Divorce Attorney: Now What?
You may think that after hiring a divorce lawyer, you can simply wait around for your court date, but people who actively participate in their divorce will find things easier in the long run. There are actions you can take to make things easier and have your case over as quickly as possible.
- Provide a narrative of important events (what is important to you is important to us), in chronological order, if possible, to your attorney. This is usually the story that you told the attorney at your initial meeting. Be sure to include important events that you want your attorney to know about. About three to five pages should be plenty.
- Provide your attorney with the information to fill out the necessary legal forms. In divorce court, numerous forms need to be filled out and filled out correctly. Don’t delay. We like to send our clients these forms right up front so we can start gathering information.
- Make a list of assets and liabilities. Disclose your assets and liabilities to your attorney and the court. You will be under oath when you fill out your financial affidavit, so get off on the right foot. Tell your attorney if you own property that was brought into the marriage or inherited. Such property should be listed as separate property on your disclosure sheet and not be subject to division. Have documentation to support your claim. It is never a good idea to hide assets or debts.
- Help your attorney get your “pleadings” in order. A pleading is a formal written statement filed with the court outlining the claims and defenses at issue and establishing the issues to be decided by the court. This is your attorney’s job, but they must have your complete cooperation in answering all applicable questions.
- If you have suspicions that your spouse is using drugs, hiding assets or participating in shady behavior, talk with your attorney. They may suggest hiring an investigator.
- Carefully prepare your request for temporary orders. Give detailed narratives to your attorney outlining what you want and why, and also an estimate of all anticipated expenses associated with your requests – temporary custody, child support, payment of debts. It is very important to remember that temporary orders can often stand for the entire length of the case, so take them seriously. Be concerned about temporary orders and other necessary documents. If temporary custody is involved, focus on getting your story (affidavit) and the story of those also involved.
- Lock up any potential bonus your spouse may be receiving later during the divorce by use of a restraining order. This requires adding the employer as a party to your divorce case.
- Get a good idea of how the case will proceed. The attorney can estimate for you how long the various legal steps will take. It is often a good strategy to outline your case concerning time.
- If you want or have to relocate, plan and think about it long before you do so. Relocating--especially to another county or state--creates lots more issues and complications.
The better prepared you are for your divorce or dissolution, the easier things will be. Your attorney can be of more help if you take an active part in your case, have needed items readily available and can easily answer questions.
Have questions on your upcoming divorce or dissolution? Pick up the phone and call Jack's Law at 740 369-7567.
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