Before You Hire A Divorce Lawyer
The 8 questions you should ask yourself before you hire a divorce lawyer.
Hiring a divorce lawyer is often the first step that comes to mind for men and women considering a legal change in their marital status.
However, hiring a lawyer shouldn’t be your first step.
At hundreds of dollars per hour, it makes sense to be completely clear and certain that’s the best direction for you and your family, before you sign that retainer agreement.
1. Am I clear on what I need?
Sometimes we aren’t 100% clear, and that’s ok.
However, it’s a good idea to work out what your needs are prior to hiring a lawyer and getting started on a legal divorce proceedings.
Often, this is a role better suited to a family consultant or therapist who has experience with the softer side of divorce; the hurt and other “messy” feelings that can draw out a divorce, making it more expensive and conflict ridden than it really needs to be.
2. Is my relationship over?
Hiring a divorce lawyer is a serious step in dissolving your marriage. As such, it’s important to be clear on whether or not your relationship is actually over.
Sometimes it can be hard to know if separation or divorce is really the right answer for you and your family. If you’re not sure about the answer to this question, you may be better off talking with a family consultant or therapist first.
3. Does my partner know?
There’s no easy way to end a marriage or common law relationship.
If your partner doesn’t know that you’re considering divorce or equivalent, it may be helpful to work with a professional to create a plan for communicating the news in a way that will make the next steps as painless as possible.
4. What about the kids - have they been told?
If you haven’t yet told your kids and you’re worried about how to do that in a way that minimizes damage to them, it’s a great idea to get advice and support from professionals with experience in these difficult situations. Creating and executing a plan you can feel proud of is one of the best ways you can tell your kids.
5. How do I / we do that and when?
Wondering how, when and what to say when you notify your kids about a change in relationship status can end when you talk to a professional to make a plan to tell your children.
Ideally, you won’t just wing this conversation. Instead you’ll be fully prepared to support your children as they absorb life changing news.
6. What about finances?
Divorce is many things, and one of the most contentious areas can be finances.
Getting familiar with the rules, regulations and obligations around finances is a great way to work to alleviate the stress associated with separating assets and debts into two.
The first thing to do is gather financial information for both yourself and your partner, so you can make informed decisions.
7. How can we both afford to have a house?
Doubling expenses with the same income certainly can have a dramatic impact on quality of life for one or both partners. But it doesn’t always have to be this way.
With a careful assessment of expenses, and a practical budget, divorce doesn’t always mean going broke.
8. How can I separate without ruining my family?
In this modern age, collaborative divorces and conscious uncoupling are becoming more popular options due to the reduction in conflict, timeframe and legal bills and the ability for parents to more successfully co-parent.
It begins with an honest self assessment like this one. First, get clear on what you need, and don’t hesitate to seek supports and advice from professionals who can really have a positive impact on navigating the minefield of divorce.
Peacemakers No Court Interdisciplinary Team Problem Solving for Families in Transition
We at Peacemakers For Families are a group of highly qualified and experienced professionals, who share a commitment to no court problem solving negotiation and settlement processes, for all types of family and relationship disputes.
The Family Consultant at Peacemakers is a trained
family therapist and family mediator and can assist you with answering all these questions.
Take the first step to a peaceful resolution to your family challenges and give us a call 403-873-0292 or 403-863-6593 or firstname.lastname@example.org