The decision to get a divorce isn’t one that any woman I’ve ever met has taken lightly. If it’s over – and you know it’s over – and it’s time to start gathering information about that next step, you’re in the right place.
I know it can’t be easy to think about, even if you know it’s right. I know it’s scary and overwhelming and heartbreaking – and probably even a huge relief, all at the same time. But how do you get started? What questions should you be asking? What will it really be like? And, goodness gracious, how much will it cost?
There are a lot of unknowns at the beginning of a case. But the fact that you’re asking questions and beginning to gather information is going to be really helpful for you later on down the line. No two divorces are exactly the same, but there are some good general principles – and some good starting places – that will help you begin to understand the options you have available to you.
You see, at the beginning of a divorce, your choices are the most important. Your choices have the power to escalate – or deescalate – the situation. Your choices can be made offensively, or defensively, depending on the circumstances. In the beginning of a divorce, the die is cast, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re making solid, informed choices that help your case move forward to the conclusion you envision.
So, what should your first steps towards a Virginia divorce be?
That question has different answers for different people, of course, but I’m going to outline here the three most common starting points. They’re not listed here in a particular order, or with a particular set of recommendations, but just simply listed, so that you can examine and determine which one (or two or three) suits your needs in this particular moment the best.
1. Request a copy of one of our four books.
If you’re ready to dig in and do the research or you just want to understand more about the divorce process so that you can begin to anticipate what might happen next, a book may be the right step for you. Sure, books aren’t for everyone, but we’ve found that there are a lot of highly intelligent, super analytical women out there who just need to be in the material, learning everything they can.
It’s hard to know a lot about something you’ve never experienced, and hard to ask the hard-hitting questions you need to ask if you can’t verbalize exactly what you mean. If you need to understand – to really understand – divorce and custody law in Virginia, then our books – and our incredible library of free reports and our pages and pages of articles may be a great place for you to start.
2. Attend a monthly divorce seminar.
If you don’t want to read a book and aren’t quite ready to make an appointment, maybe attending a seminar is the logical first step.
Each of our monthly divorce seminars is taught by one of our attorneys, and features an opportunity to ask questions directly to the attorney. It’s a great way to learn about divorce law in Virginia, get some face time with a real family lawyer, and ask any specific questions you might have.
Next to an actual consultation with a lawyer, it’s one of the best, least expensive, and most effective ways to get the information you need – without any complications that you don’t.
3. Call and schedule an appointment.
If you’ve got a couple burning questions, or if something terrible has happened (or you’re worried about something terrible happening), there may be no substitute for a quick and comprehensive sit down with an experienced local divorce attorney.
If you’re afraid he’s going to kick you out, he’s going to kidnap your kids, or you’re going to go immediately bankrupt without some kind of spousal support award in place, like, yesterday, you don’t have time to twiddle your thumbs. In some cases, there is simply no substitute for getting specific, up to date, Virginia information tied to your unique case. In many cases, if he’s prepared to not fight fair, you’re better off to act offensively than defensively – and choosing the right attorney, quickly, can help you move things forward with strength and purpose.
Even if you don’t have a burning issue, there will probably come a time when it’s just time to go ahead and resolve things. Maybe you’ve tried to do it on your own. Maybe you’ve been to mediation. Maybe you want more information about collaborative divorce or a separation agreement. In any case, you need an experienced professional to help you move things forward, and now feels like the right moment in time.
We can help you get started, whether you want more information or are ready to speak directly to an attorney about your case. It’s overwhelming and certainly a big decision, but it’s not one that you need to make in isolation or without sufficient information.
These are big decisions, but with the right information and an experienced divorce and custody attorney by your side, you’ll have the best possible opportunity for success. For more information about our books, resources, seminars, or consultations, give our office a call at 757-425-5200.