The breakdown in your marriage was gradual. Affection fell by the wayside, criticism surfaced nearly every day and the two of you avoided spending time together. This is marriage in danger, and, sometimes, such unions are beyond repair. One spouse moves out of the house, and divorce looms.
Although the disintegration of your marriage came as no surprise, you are now in uncharted personal territory. What will you do? How do you protect yourself? You have many questions, and you need answers and direction. Divorce has complex issues, and this is among the reasons why you need to enlist a reliable, experienced and empathetic attorney.
Explain, advocate and resolve
With many uncertainties swirling through your head, you understand that you need guidance. A divorce can be messy, complicated, time-consuming and costly. You need an advocate who maintains your best interests and understands every divorce-related issue.
An attorney will explain to you the inner workings of a divorce proceeding, the options available to you and the likely direction that is the best one for you. An ally like this will negotiate for you and fight for you in determining the best outcome.
A knowledgeable attorney will address numerous important issues in divorce and how they relate to you. These issues may include:
- Child custody and visitation: Determining the best agreement is important because you want to spend as much time as possible with your children. An attorney will help you negotiate a workable arrangement with your estranged spouse.
- Child support: In such scenarios that include sole or shared custody arrangements, you want to make sure that you receive enough financial support to raise your children.
- Alimony: Some couples choose not to go this route, but it is in their best interests to understand the options available. A skilled attorney relies on negotiation skills and will fight for you in order for you to receive this financial support.
- Asset division: What is marital property and what is non-marital property? Any asset that couples accumulate during the marriage is marital property. Assets that couples bring into the marriage or acquire after separation are non-marital property.
- Restraining/protective orders (if necessary): When a divorce gets ugly and the union included a history of domestic violence, you need to understand what legal avenues are available for your protection.
Without direction in a divorce case or the guidance of an experienced attorney, you likely will flail around with no resolution in sight. In order to ensure the best outcome for you, retain an attorney and do not choose to go it alone.