In the United States, one divorce is granted an average of every 30 seconds — or over 1 million divorces each year. When couples make the decision to end their marriages, they often think that they should pick up the phone to hire a divorce attorney right away. However, there are some crucial steps that couples should take first to ensure that they’re making the right decision. They also need to consider their children and their own personal safety in a divorce.
Are you thinking of ending your marriage? Here’s what you need to keep in mind before you make the decision to hire a divorce lawyer:
- Work on resolution first. Are there problems that you and your spouse may be able to work out between you? One of the first steps before hiring a divorce attorney is to try mediation. While an attorney may be able to help you see the realities of a divorce, you and your spouse can also try couple’s counseling if you have issues to work out. For example, arguing over finances once or more per week can increase the likelihood of a divorce by 30%; however, these arguments can also sometimes be resolved by communicating more.
- Gather any necessary documents. From you financial records to your children’s birth certificates, you will need to figure out what you are fighting for in your divorce. In terms of your shared assets, you should include your bank account, mortgage, and any debt as part of a settlement. If you are also hiring a lawyer for child custody, then you may need to have documentation for your children, too. In addition to official documents, keep track of any incidents that may have occurred between you and your spouse. For instance, if your spouse has been abusive or confrontational or even broken the law, then you can use this as evidence in a divorce case. You can also use this information to file a restraining order, which can legally be done by anyone over the age of 12.
- Schedule a free divorce consultation with a divorce lawyer. Finally, before hiring a divorce attorney, you actually have the chance to ask one questions about your case. Many divorce lawyers will offer the chance for a free consultation. This helps you determine whether or not an attorney can help with your case and how likable that attorney is.
Have more questions about what you need to do before hiring a divorce attorney? If so, leave a comment in the space provided.