Things You Should Do Before Filing for Divorce

Family Law Articles

Before acting it is always important to get information.  You will want information about the process of divorce as well as what you can expect in your particular case.  This information will help you determine how you should proceed and help guide you through the process.

Most people start with a google search of divorce attorneys that practice in their county of residence.  Read about the divorce attorneys and the information they have on their website.  This should give you some broad understanding about the process and issues you may face in your case.

Next, you should gather information about the issues that need to be resolved.  All divorces will need to resolve the division of the marital estate and confirmation of the separate estates, if any.  If there are children then you will want to gather information on the children as well.

You should gather statements of every financial account with banks, credit cards, retirement, stocks, mutual funds, brokerages, mortgages, installment loans, etc.  It is important that you gather about two years of statements.   You should gather information about insurance policies that are in effect, including the cost of those policies. 

You should also gather information about the children’s lives, which may include medical, dental and vision records and school progress reports.  You will also want to gather information about cost and coverage for the children’s health, dental and vision both for current policies and for any coverage that may available.  

Next, you should schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney, whether you are going to hire an attorney or not.  To determine if the attorney has sufficient experience, research the attorney online and read their reviews.  Read the information on the attorney’s website to see if they are knowledgeable about divorces.  An attorney that only practices family law is more likely to have sufficient divorce experience than someone that practices multiple areas of law.  Just like when you select a physician, select an attorney that concentrates their practice in divorces.

Experienced divorce attorneys will charge for their consultation, while a few, less experienced divorce attorneys may offer a free consultation.  Experienced divorce attorneys generally receive many calls every day wanting free consultations.  Because time and legal advice are what lawyers sell, experienced divorce attorneys simply cannot give free legal advice to everyone that calls and still have time to work on their cases and make a living. 

Many of the free consultations will not be with an attorney at all, but a paralegal or sales professional, often called an intake specialist, for the law office.  If you are wanting legal advice only consult with an experienced divorce attorney, because support staff cannot give you legal advice.  Support staff giving free consultations are generally selling on scheduling a paid consultation with the attorney.  As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. 

Now that you have the information you are ready to file your divorce.  If you hire an experienced divorce attorney they will handle this for you.