Most of us think we know a lot about divorce from the media or watching others go through it, and often the focus is on the emotional strain, which is difficult for everyone. But even an amicable divorce involves legal ramifications, and there really is no substitute for professional counsel when it comes to that part of divorce.
This week, we joined other lawyers from around the world to share our advice from the front lines of divorce proceedings on the DivorcedMoms website.
Divorce is foreign territory to most who enter it. Friends and family can offer welcome support; but, at many times through the process, it is the wisdom and guidance of a legal professional that is the most valuable. Attorneys, after all, are the trained experts who help us navigate the rather intimidating mountains of forms and court proceedings to assist us in dissolving our dysfunctional marriages.
Lawyers have seen it all! Every imaginable kind of divorce, both amicable and vicious, with every set of circumstances have found their way into the offices of divorce attorneys.
What would the legal experts who have helped hundreds of couples end their unions like the rest of us to know?
Several top divorce lawyers shared the wisdom they wish all of us knew and would heed as we initiate divorces. Take these golden nuggets of advice to heart because they could save you time, trouble, and agony in the future!
You have the power to make your divorce less complicated and expensive!
Every divorce is unpleasant and will require a financial investment to pay for legal expenses; however, if you are cooperative, prepared, upfront with important information, and focus on the intended outcome, you can make the process less painful!
Corrie Sirkin, a family lawyer fromÂ Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, & TriggÂ in New Jersey shared: â€œfor alimony and equitable distribution, your divorce is financial, not personal. If you provide your attorney with more information and proof; then you will get better advice and your divorce will cost less. Get copies of all financial documents possible and make a list of accounts, debts, and balances. Make a budget of what your family spends now and a proposed budget. Be thorough and accurate.â€
Jason Kohlmeyer ofÂ Roko Law OfficeÂ in Minnesota echoed Sirkinâ€™s advice by stressing the importance of staying organized, having a plan, and creating a budget to save money on your divorce. He quipped â€œwhose kids do you want to put through college? Yours or your lawyerâ€™s?â€
Think about that! Is a battle to the death with your ex over every last detail of your case worth sacrificing the future financial security of you and your children?
Put your legal representation to work for you!
Ottawa-based attorney Timothy Sullivan, ofÂ Sullivan Law, urged â€œif you hire a lawyer, speak through your lawyer on all legal issues and money matters including custody, access, property, pensions, support, and child and home expenses.â€
Doesnâ€™t it make the best sense to let the expert, who you have enlisted to bring you a successful outcome in your divorce, be the one to communicate about all of these sensitive issues? Your lawyer knows just how to phrase important information to preserve your best interests, so speaking without your representativeâ€™s assistance could result in miscommunication or complications to your case. Sometimes itâ€™s best to know when to let the one who went to law school do the talking!
For more information and to read the rest of this (pretty helpful) piece, please visit the Divorce Warrior column on the DivorcedMoms site.