Going through the holidays knowing that a divorce is imminent is always tough, both emotionally and logistically, but it’s not at all uncommon. January is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for most law firms that handle divorces. It seems the holidays are just stressful enough to highlight the significant problems in an already shaky marriage to lead one or both spouses to declare, “I will not spend another holiday married to this person!”
But even when the decision seems to be made, one of the most frequent questions people have is how to actually start the process once the holidays are behind them. It’s not always easy to call and find out when your house is overrun with family get-togethers, and the children are home all day while on holiday breaks from school. If this is the situation you find yourself in, keep reading.
Step One – Schedule a Consultation with a Divorce Attorney
The first step always starts with scheduling a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney to discuss your options and determine what is best for your situation. If you have children, you will also want to consider how custody will be determined. If you already know which attorney you want to hire, scheduling an appointment is as simple as calling or emailing the office and finding a time that works for your schedule to discuss the matter. If you haven’t yet made up your mind whom to hire, I have written previously about things you should consider when interviewing attorneys to represent you. You can read more about that process by clicking here, here, and here.
What Do I Need to Bring to a Divorce Consultation?
The answer is that it depends. If you have any specific documents that you think might be relevant, go ahead and bring them with you. However, if you don’t have anything or aren’t sure what might be relevant, don’t worry – you can always bring things later once you’ve made the decision to hire the attorney. The most important thing is to come to the meeting with any questions you are most concerned about once you separate from your spouse. This initial meeting is also a great way to allow you and the attorney to get to know each other’s personalities so that you both can decide if the attorney is a good fit for your case.
What Will happen at the Meeting?
At the meeting, your attorney will ask you general questions about your marriage and the situation leading up to your decision to file for divorce. They may also ask about your assets, debts, and any children you have from the marriage. This information will help them understand your case better and determine what steps need to be taken first and how to prioritize other steps that may need to be taken later in the case to protect your interests.
Your attorney will also use this opportunity to explain the divorce process in more detail and answer any questions you may have. They’ll let you know what documents are needed, and if you decide to retain their firm, they can help you collect the documents if necessary. Most importantly, they’ll give you an idea of what to expect going forward so you can start preparing yourself mentally, emotionally, and financially for the road ahead.
Divorce proceedings can be complex and emotionally charged, so it is important to have a clear understanding of the process before making any decisions. The decisions made during a divorce can have a lasting impact on your life and your children’s lives, so it is important to take everything into consideration before moving forward. Divorce is never easy, but with the right legal team and support in place from the beginning, it can be a more positive experience that allows you and your family to start fresh.
If you’re considering divorcing your spouse after the holidays, one of the first things you need to do is schedule a meeting with an experienced family law attorney. You might be worried that you’re simply too busy surviving the holiday to properly prepare for the meeting, and that’s okay. Just show up ready to answer questions truthfully so the attorney can get to know you and understand your case better. If you have questions that have been front and center for you, make sure to ask those during your consultation meeting, also, so the attorney can provide whatever information you need to make an informed decision about how best to proceed.
Ben Stevens is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and he is a Board-Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He has represented parties in divorce, child custody, and other Family Court cases all across South Carolina for over twenty-five years. If you or someone you know is facing a child custody or visitation case, contact our office at (864) 598-9172 or SCFamilyLaw@offitkurman.com to schedule a consultation.
Related Articles by Mr. Stevens:
- How Do I Protect My Business Interests During a Divorce?
- What is the Difference Between Fault and No-Fault Divorce?
- Divorce Papers: How to Serve Your Spouse Most Effectively
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