Making the decision to divorce

Posted on Feb 5, 2018 by Katie Carter

Divorce is a big decision, and it’s not one that anyone undertakes lightly. No matter who you are or where you came from, you’re not making this decision easily. In fact, you probably haven’t even made any type of decisions for sure at this point. If you’re like most women, at this point, you’re simply gathering information in an attempt to protect yourself.

I get the impression that a lot of people feel like getting divorce information is like opening Pandora’s Box. Or, at least, coming in for an appointment is. There’s some sort of fine line between what’s okay – you can surf the internet, try to find random internet articles that answer the burning questions that are keeping you lying awake at night, but there’s some kind of something that keeps you from actually talking face to face with an attorney about your situation and your options.

I can’t speak for any other attorneys from any other law firms, but I can tell you that, at our firm, we absolutely, positively, do not put any pressure on you to move your case forward if that’s not what you’re ready to do. Our only goal is to make sure that you have the information you need to make the decisions you need to make – whatever those decisions may be. Sometimes, that decision is to save the marriage, sometimes the decision is to end it. Other times, a perfectly valid decision is to sit on the information for a period of time. Whether you’re considering marriage counseling or something else, it’s useful for you to feel like you’ve exhausted every possible attempt to save your marriage before you move forward with ending it.

It’s always wise to get the Virginia divorce facts you need.

Whether you’re considering a divorce or separation, or whether you still hope to ultimately save your marriage, knowledge is power.

The more you know about how property will be divided and how custody will be awarded, the better. The more realistic you are, the more you can plan and prepare ahead of time. The more you can have open and honest discussions with your realtors, mortgage brokers, financial advisors, tax planners, or other important people who can help you begin to set up a post divorce plan. After all, money is THE number one issue in a divorce, and you’ll want to know that you’ve set yourself up to be in the best position possible in the event that things start to head in that direction.

You want to discuss tax consequences, and begin to plan for them. You want to think about how your job might be impacted – or whether you might want to make a different plan, career-wise. You might want to at least have an idea of what you could expect to receive as far as spousal and child support are concerned, so that you know what you can afford as far as housing is concerned. There are a lot of questions you’ll want to have answered so that you can think smart and come up with a plan to take care of yourself (and your children).

Don’t go off of what your friends say about their divorces.

Divorce is state specific. Sometimes, depending on the issue, the locality matters, too – so things aren’t always 100% identical from Virginia Beach to Newport News. So it can be dangerous to rely on the wisdom you hear from a friend who told you what happened in her divorce which was “pretty much just like” your divorce!

Besides that, divorce law changes all the time, and you’ll need to know the most up to date information available. (Like, for example, all the new tax rules that applied after January 2018!) What applied to your cousin’s divorce in December might not be the same as what applies to your divorce today. Be careful.
Divorce is also fairly complex, and there are a lot of interrelated issues. One small and seemingly insignificant detail can tip the scale to one side or the other, and without a level of familiarity with divorce law, it can be difficult to know which facts can have that kind of impact in a case overall.
I’m not ready yet to come in and talk to a divorce lawyer one on one.

I definitely recommend a consultation to get an idea of what your rights and entitlements might be; it’s really the only way to talk about your specific situation in any kind of detail. Still, if you just aren’t ready, you just aren’t ready.

We’ve spent a lot of time gathering information, and I think you’ll find a lot of it is super helpful. If you’re just now beginning to think about the divorce or custody process, you should probably start with one of our four free books: we’ve got civilian and military divorce, how to choose an attorney (or do it yourself), and custody. You may just want one, or some combination of all four. (If you want divorce, though, you don’t need both military and civilian; the military one will do for military, whether active duty or retired, and whether you’re the service member or the spouse.)

We’ve also got an awesome page full of free reports, with tons of awesome topics – like financial information women need to know, mistakes women make in divorce, special issues in custody cases, and much more.  If you’re interested, or just want to see all of our titles to see whether any pique your interest, click here.

I want more information than I can get from a book, but I’m still not sure about an appointment.

Have you heard about our monthly divorce seminars?  It’s not an appointment with an attorney, but each seminar is taught by one of our attorneys, and you’ll have a chance to ask your questions to an attorney in a live format, which can be super helpful. There will be other women present, too, so if you’re shy or benefit from a group format, there’s also that. We cover all sorts of topics, and basically go over what you need to know about the Virginia divorce process in general – it’s really incredibly informative.
For more information about the topics covered, or to register to attend, click here.

Okay, okay. I think I’m ready for a consultation now. Where do I go to schedule?

You can request an appointment online, or give our office a call at 757-425-5200 to schedule. If you want, feel free to take a look at our attorney’s biographies to pick who you’d most like to meet with. If not, our intake specialists can help point you in the right direction – but, really, you can’t go wrong (if I do say so myself).

I hope this helps. You’re in the right place, you’re asking the right questions, and it’s never a bad idea to get the information that you need to make these big decisions.