Going through a divorce can be a highly emotional and stressful experience; however, you can reduce the angst in several ways. One of those is hiring an experienced and accomplished family lawyer, more specifically a divorce lawyer and helping them as much as you can to make the best possible case they can for you throughout the negotiations and at court if the need arises.
Now, it is unlikely that you will have kept a divorce lawyer ‘on hold’ as it were and paid them a retainer just in case your marriage ever went awry…at least we hope you didn’t. It can seem like a cynical world sometimes, so we assume you wanted your marriage to work by having a divorce lawyer on standby rather than expecting it would not.
Once you hire a divorce lawyer, one of the most important meetings you will have with them is the first one. This is important for several reasons, but one that is key is that it will confirm, or not, that you are comfortable discussing your marriage and other aspects of your personal life with this particular divorce lawyer.
Depending on how amicable or not the split is, or how likely or not a negotiated settlement might be, there is always the possibility that the divorce will end up in court. If it does, your ex-partner’s lawyer will quite rightly do all they can to make their case, and that could involve bringing up elements of your personal life that you might find uncomfortable.
For this reason, your lawyer needs to know as much about you, your ex-partner, and your marriage as possible so that they counter anything your ex’s lawyer tries to use against you. That is why you have to be completely open and trusting of your lawyer, and so the first meeting is hopefully where that trust begins.
As well as going into that first meeting with a willingness to be open and honest with your divorce lawyer, there are several practicalities to consider. First, make the appointment time that leaves no possibility of watching the clock because you have a later commitment. This just adds to any stress you may feel, so choose a day and a time where, if the meeting overruns, you are relaxed about it doing so.
Before your first meeting with your divorce lawyer, you really need to sit down and take time to think of your divorce and what outcome you would like. Even deciding if you want to negotiate or go to court is a decision you can make, although your lawyer may advise against it, if they feel it would not be in your interests.
There will obviously be finances to consider, so you must create a list of all your assets and liabilities, including properties, stocks and shares, your salary, credit cards, loans, household bills, and so on. Be as thorough as you can with this so that your lawyer can make the best case possible for your property settlement.
You should create a detailed timeline of your relationship with your ex-partner from the moment you first met, the dates of your marriage, and most importantly, details of any children you may have.
A huge aspect of the divorce is determining what is best for the children, and while you will have views on that, you should let your lawyer know of them, so they can advise how likely they are to happen.