Article by Aleks Kocelko, Esq.
If you are considering separation or divorce, there are likely a thousand questions running through your mind, from, how do I tell my kids, or can I afford this, to how long will this take. One of the most frequent questions family law attorneys are asked, is when should I talk to a lawyer? While no two cases are the same, the sooner you talk to an experienced attorney, the better. During an initial consultation, an attorney can explain the legal process, give you an idea of what to expect, and answer any specific questions you might have. Getting this information sooner rather than later can only help you, as you move forward. Most people considering a separation don’t understand the law or know what to expect. Getting this information from an experienced attorney can help you decide if separation is the right choice and what you should do to prepare. Talking to family or friends who have been through a divorce can be helpful, but do not rely on their experiences. Every case is different and if you base your decisions on someone else’s case, you may be in for a rude awakening. It is important to understand what is considered a marital asset, how alimony and support are calculated, what a court considers when making a custody determination, and so much more. It is also critical to understand what the legal process looks like and what options you may have for alternative dispute resolution remedies. Many people are shocked to find out that litigating a divorce can take years. Others may not realize that the presumption that the mother will have primary custody is no longer the standard. Allowing an attorney to rid you of common misconceptions puts you in a much better position to assess your options and move forward in the most productive way possible.
In addition to arming you with accurate information, talking to an attorney early on can prevent you from making costly mistakes. Many times clients come to attorneys having already waived certain rights or missed deadlines associated with litigation. They may have allowed the other parent to move out with the children, creating a status quo that could impact future custody disputes. Getting ahead of any issues will save time and money in the long run. During an initial consultation, the attorney can also explain costs and fees so that you know the financial implications of hiring an attorney. They can also share what information and documentation would be helpful in moving forward. This can be incredibly beneficial as once parties separate, the other side might make it more difficult to get the information that you need.
If you are just thinking about separation, you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to an attorney. Lawyers aren’t here to push you into moving forward if you are not ready, they merely want to give you the tools and information you need to make the best possible decision for your family. Divorce or separation can be a very scary time as you balance starting a new household, custody issues, financial concerns, and the loss of the relationship, don’t make things harder by waiting too long to consult with an attorney. Contact the experienced family law attorneys at Burns White today for a free consultation.