Divorces are unfortunate but sometimes necessary events. Most people will hire or consult with a divorce attorney during the process. Here are 7 questions to ask your divorce attorney when you go through the divorce process.
1. Understanding Divorce Process and Timing
Divorces often take a lot longer than anybody suspects that they will. Ask to review the divorce process with your attorney and learn about the timing of the divorce proceedings and what will be required along the way.
2. Documentation Needed
You will need to pull together documentation on any assets that you jointly or individually hold and any liabilities that have may have. Consideration will be placed on whether these are pre or post marriage assets/liabilities. Learn about what information you will need to gather so you can start organizing yourself during the proceedings.
3. Formulas for Alimony and Child Support
Many states have implemented formulas, which dictate minimum amounts of alimony and child support. In many situations, except in extreme examples, courts are often hesitant to go over these formulas in calculating child support and alimony. Your divorce attorney should be able to calculate the alimony and child support that you will pay/receive in your divorce settlement and can provide you with information regarding the likelihood of paying/collecting more than this upon a full divorce proceeding.
4. Arbitration, Mediation, and Court-Ordered Settlements
Individuals who are going through a divorce have the option of going through a court-determined divorce settlement or can go through a simpler arbitration or mediation process. Arbitration and mediation processes are often cheaper to bear but may yield a lower settlement amount. Have a pointed conversation with your divorce attorney regarding the options, keeping in mind that they have a vested interest in having you go through a divorce court in the way of higher legal fees.
5. Child Care and Visiting Rights
If you have children, be sure to inquire with your divorce attorney on who the children will live with after the divorce, children visitation rights, and any other specifics regarding childcare. If you believe your spouse should not have access to the children, then this should be discussed as well, as it can require a different responsible from your divorce attorney.
6. Options for Amiable Settlements
In divorce, it is often better to come to an amiable settlement of your divorce terms. Discuss with your divorce lawyer the potential for coming to an amiable settlement and ask questions on the process for doing so. They will often reach out to your spouse’s divorce attorney and work on negotiating a settlement.
7. Locating Hidden Assets
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets to prevent them from being divided amongst you, then discuss your suspicions and request information on how they can forensically verify claimed assets and search for unreported items.
Divorces are challenging and require a significant amount of work on behalf of yourself and your divorce attorney. Ask your divorce attorney the aforementioned questions to expedite the process and improve on the results of your divorce proceedings.