Divorce can be a stressful process during an already emotion-filled time, as there are a lot of legal details to consider and plans to make during a divorce. But having the right attorney on your side can help you make it through the event. Here are some tips to help you when meeting with your divorce attorney so you can have as positive an experience as possible and successful divorce process to divide your assets and determine any required child custody.
As you go throughout each day before your first and subsequent meetings with your divorce attorney, writing down your thoughts and questions can help you a great deal. During heightened times of stress in your life, it can be common for your memory to not be as great as it normally is and it can be easy for you to forget specific thoughts and questions.
Make a list of questions you want to ask your attorney about any aspect of the divorce process and, for example, what you will need to be prepared for financially and otherwise. Writing them down will allow you to take the necessary time with your attorney face-to-face to get them all answered without forgetting anything. This also prevents you having to try to get your questions answered over the phone, as your attorney will have other clients and other court meetings and appointments.
Also make a wish list of items you want to get out of the divorce process, such as a specific divorce settlement and a property or specific asset you want to keep. This can also include a child custody arrangement and alimony or child support payments. You may not get everything on your list but it is a good guideline that can help you through the process.
Consider Your Emotions
When you meet with your divorce attorney, especially for the first time, you may be feeling a great deal of emotion. This is not an excuse for it to come out during your meetings with your attorney. Your attorney will understand that this is a very taxing and emotional time in your life, but their time is valuable and you will need to pay them for it, so don't waste it by sobbing about your problems. Emotional break-downs during the meeting time with your attorney can take up valuable time you can use for strategic planning and setting up your divorce case.
It can be helpful to see the services of a professional counselor or psychologist to allow you to let out and deal with your emotions. This can help you become more emotionally stable, happy, and more able to handle the changes going on in your life. This, in turn, can help you be more mentally ready to take on the divorce process.
Receiving professional counseling and often medication treatment can help you prevent or treat depression that can occur during and after divorce, especially if you have dealt with depression in your past. A recent study found that nearly 60 percent of people divorcing who had experienced depression in their past dealt with depression again during their divorce. So, being aware that this can occur and taking the appropriate steps can help you out emotionally.
Bring Personal Documents
When you meet with your attorney, at your first appointment or subsequent appointments, you will need to bring them appropriate financial and legal documents. These documents will provide information about your financial assets, personal property, your income, and other data your attorney will need to determine an equitable division of all assets.
Some documents you will need to bring can include retirement and pension account statements, bank account statements, proof of your and your spouse's income, your mortgage, home owner's insurance statement, and your income tax returns for the past several years. Then, don't forget a list of your personal and real property and appraisals and a monthly budget worksheet showing your regular income and expenses.