If you’re like most Florida residents trapped in an unhappy marriage, you don’t look forward to divorcing – even if you look forward to getting out of the emotional and logistical mess of a miserable relationship. It’s understandable that you might procrastinate, endlessly avoiding the trip to the lawyer that you dread. Procrastination, though, only increases your anxiety, and has the potential to undermine your divorce case. The right time to see a lawyer is as soon as you begin considering divorce as an option.
Why You Need a Lawyer Now
A lawyer doesn’t just handle your divorce. Your attorney can also offer advice on how your behavior now could affect your divorce in the future. For instance, he may offer guidance on documenting your relationship with your kids, proving abuse if your spouse is abusing you, or gathering evidence supporting your claims about your soon-to-be-ex’s assets.
Many newly divorced people make mistakes that haunt them for years. You might deny your ex visitation, exaggerate his temper to create the illusion of abuse, or hide assets. A lawyer can stop you from making these mistakes before they destroy your divorce case.
The No-Obligation Divorce
Seeing a lawyer does not obligate you to get divorced. Indeed, many people see divorce attorneys and then decide, based on what they learn, that it would be better to work on the marriage. Your visit to a lawyer could be the only thing that offers you reliable information about what you can expect from a divorce. And everyone deserves to make decisions with a clear head and a fully informed mind, so don’t deny yourself this option.
What to Ask Your Lawyer
The process of embarking on the divorce journey can feel deeply overwhelming, even terrifying. Don’t allow your anxiety to cloud your judgment, though. Be prepared with a list of questions. Some possibilities include:
- Do you specialize in divorce?
- How many cases like mine have you handled?
- What is the best-case scenario for my case?
- What is the worst-case outcome?
- What can I do now to maximize my chances of success in court?
- Is there anything I’m doing that could harm my case?
- Should I stay in my home?
- How much will it cost me to get divorced?
- Will I need to pay for expert witnesses?
- Have you ever been disciplined by a bar association?
- Can I talk to references?
- What portion of your practice is dedicated to divorce?
- What can you do to encourage my case to settle?
- Is mediation or arbitration an option?
- What custody arrangement do you think I am most likely to end up with?