Should I Contact My Family Law Firm Before I Ask My Spouse for a Divorce?

When you’re thinking of getting a divorce, one of the first things you might be considering is whether to engage a family law firm before informing your partner. However, it’s likely not the only question you have.

Here’s a list of five of the most common questions we get, and how we advise our clients to proceed:

  1. Should I Hire a Lawyer Before Telling My Spouse? The answer to this one is, it depends. If you live an area where there is only one good family law firm or divorce attorney, it may be in your best interests to secure their services before your spouse does. Alternately, if you aren’t fully set on divorce, it might not make sense to engage an attorney until the decision is final. The best answer is the one that makes you feel the most comfortable with the situation.
  2. How Can I Hurt My Ex the Most? While we don’t get this direct question very often, we often see glimpses of it in various clients’ emotional states. Divorce is a painful, messy, and difficult process to work through. Often you want to lash out and hurt the other party as a result. While the reaction itself is perfectly human, using your attorney or the Court is not the way to go about it. For one, it can complicate the outcome of your divorce by forcing things to drag on unnecessarily. Two, it can drive up your attorney fees considerably as you undergo protracted negotiations and fail to come to a reasonable agreement or settlement. Just don’t do it.
  3. How Can I Make Sure I Get Custody and Visitation Rights? Many couples undergoing the divorce process have kids, and most want to ensure they have a right to see their children on an ongoing basis. However, there is no magic trick to making sure you get the outcome you want. The best thing you can do is to advise your lawyer about any potential pitfalls you’re aware of, and conduct yourself in a manner you would be proud to have paraded before a judge and the community at large.
  4. How Long Will My Divorce Take? This depends on a variety of factors, including your state of residence, the amicability of the divorce itself, the number of assets accumulated during the marriage, documents currently impacting the outcome (i.e. prenuptial agreements and the terms they outline), and a host of other factors. Until an attorney has had a chance to do a thorough review of your case particulars, it’s impossible to predict a timeline. If you happen to come across an attorney that guarantees you a timeline without knowing the specifics, your best bet is to run fast in the opposite direction.
  5. How Much Will a Divorce Cost? Similar to the previous question, this one also depends on your case particulars, as well as how much the attorney charges for his or her billable hourly rate. However, the right attorney will be able to give you a solid estimate of total time and cost based on their combined experience and the information you have provided. They should also provide you with a detailed fee schedule addressing the process for billing any additional hours beyond the estimated amount and the refund process for any retainer amounts not used. But generally speaking, the more complicated the divorce, the more expensive it’s going to be.

In Need of a Family Law Firm Consultation?

For a complimentary, confidential consultation with an experienced family law firm, call the Reeder Law Firm at (770) 504-4747.