If you have children and are considering filing for divorce then please consider the below recommendations. My hope is that these recommendation will assist you in preparing to file for divorce and your choice of which attorney will represent you.
- If you believe that there is any hope for your marriage to work, then go to counseling! Marriage counseling has the potential to help your marriage, so give it a chance.
- Go to individual counseling. There are few things more difficult in life than going through a divorce, especially when you have children. Counselors can be very helpful in walking with you through the process.
- Get your children in counseling, if possible. You often will need the permission of your spouse to get your child in counseling, and you can typically get an order from the Judge to ensure your child is allowed to go to counseling.
- If you or your children are the victim(s) of physical, sexual or emotional abuse by your spouse you should take steps to remove yourself and your children from danger immediately. Contact an attorney immediately to discuss your options.
- Do your research before hiring an attorney to ensure you find a good attorney.
- Be wary of an attorney who guarantees a specific result regarding child custody and the division of property. The ultimate outcome of any contested divorce proceeding will depend on a variety of factors, most importantly what each party can prove with actual evidence. Hire an experienced attorney who will represent your interests zealously and competently, not one who promises complete victory in every case.
- Understand that when children are involved, the divorce process takes at least three months and often longer. There are many steps to completing a divorce and filing the Petition is just the first step.
- Limit your discussions with your children as much as possible about the pending divorce until you have talked to the attorney. Specifically, do not ask the children their preference on who they want to stay with primarily when you or your spouse moves out. This puts unneccary pressure on the children. Once you have made the decision to file for divorce your attorney will give you advice on how to discuss the matter with your children.
- Never use the divorce process to get revenge on your spouse. Seek a fair and just outcome for you and your children. Remember, if you have children you are going to see your spouse often – at school events, extra curricular events, holidays and weddings, so do your best to keep the peace if at all possible.
- Whether it is decisions on custody or dividing up the marital property of the parties, the judge will need to see solid evidence to make his rulings. Therefore, the sooner you begin collecting evidence for the divorce the better. For marital property, this means collecting financial records such as current bank statements and retirement accounts. For custody issues, this means collecting emails, texts and any other evidence that will help a judge decide who should have custody of the children.
At Ball Morse Lowe our experienced family law attorneys are dedicated advocates for our clients' rights and their children's best interests. You can count on our law firm to provide the seasoned legal guidance necessary to assist you in your divorce. Call us today at 405-701-5355.