Each year in the United States, millions of marriages come to an end. Of those who have married parents, more than one million of these individuals see their parents either separate or divorce. And depending on how many marriages each partner has had, the chances for divorce increase with each subsequent marriage. Approximately 41% of first marriages in the U.S. end, after an average of eight years; a second marriage, however, has a 60% likelihood of ending in divorce. If your marriage is also ending, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and there are legal resources available to you.
Once you have made the decision to seek a divorce, the first step is typically going to see a divorce or family law attorney. These attorneys often have a specialty in handling divorce cases, which can include factors ranging from property disputes to child custody battles. In order to help you determine whether or not you will be able to build a solid case, many divorce lawyers will offer a consultation meeting to discuss the specifics of your situation.
Before one of these consultations, it’s important to prepare a list of questions to ask an attorney about divorce, both in general and pertaining to your circumstances. The divorce process can be a lengthy one, with the average divorce proceedings lasting about one year. Therefore, it’s important to know ahead of time what to expect throughout the entire case.
If you are planning to meet with a divorce attorney soon, or you think you might in the future, here is how you can develop questions to ask an attorney about divorce.
- Inquire about expectations: What can you expect from the divorce process? This question is likely at the forefront of your mind, but it’s also one of the most important questions to ask an attorney about divorce. Your attorney should be willing to explain the process to you, from filing all the way to life after your settlement.
- Gather your documentation: Divorces end for a variety of reasons, due to anything from communication issues and financial problems to abuse and infidelity. No matter why you and/or your partner have chosen to get a divorce, you’ll want to bring any financial records, correspondence, legal documents, and other papers with you to your consultation. If you’re not sure what you need for your case, ask your attorney.
- Consider your children: Communicate your child custody expectations to your lawyer. Also, be sure to ask how you and your spouse can make the separation easy for your children. Doing so can minimize stress — for everyone involved — during this difficult time.
- Ask about cost: It’s important to be aware of divorce attorney fees, including those for any contact hours in person or by phone that you may have with your attorney. Get this information in writing if possible.
Wondering about other questions you could ask, or have suggestions for how to speak to an attorney about your marriage? Leave a comment below.