For most of us, the divorce process is an unfamiliar process. Knowing where to start can make all of the difference. Following is a simple checklist to help you prepare to commit to a divorce process that best meets your family’s needs.
Initial questions to ask yourself
? Is reconciliation with my spouse possible?
? Could marital counseling help?
? Am I willing to explore alternative dispute resolution options such as Collaboration or Mediation rather than go to court (Litigation)?
? Is my spouse willing to explore these types of options as well?
? When everything has been completed, what do I hope the outcome will be?
Determining the Process
Which of the following are important to you?
? Financial Interests
? Control over decisions
? Children/Family Issues
You may wish to use an internet search engine to research the following:
? Family Law Litigation
? Family Law Mediation
? Collaborative Family Law
Interviewing/Hiring an Attorney
? Gather names of attorney’s specializing in the processes you are most interested in (Mediation, Collaboration or Litigation)
- Ask friends/family for referrals
- Ask professional contacts for referrals (counselor, financial professional)
- Perform an Internet Search (e.g., Family Law Mediation in Anaheim Hills)
- Consult with the California State Bar website to see if a particular attorney is in good standing
? Review his/her website?
? Schedule a consultation
? Request client recommendations
Initial Questions for my attorney
? What are the advantages of :
- A hybrid model
? What is the attorney’s specialized area?
? How can I make this process as quick and smooth as possible?
? What documentation will you need from me?
? What is the expected timeline for completing this process?
Preparation for any Process
? Gather all separate and joint financial records including tax returns, pay stubs, statements on assets and debts
? Consider what is most important to you: Financial preservation, child custody/visitation