Before you get too far in the divorce process, it’s a really good idea to do some research, especially if you’re angry or upset. I think it’s always best to start a project with an idea of where you want to end up, and divorce is no exception. If you go in to see an attorney without doing any research ahead of time, and if you’re angry, bitter, or deeply hurt, you may make decisions that you’ll later regret.
An initial consultation is the time that you and your attorney will use to identify goals and specific methods designed to help you achieve those goals. If you come in and tell your attorney that you want to move forward with a contested divorce because you want your day in court, your attorney will have very little choice but to take you at your word and set a series of events in motion that, once started, may be hard to take back.
In most cases, the best course of action is to start drafting a separation agreement. It causes the least stress on the parties and can save tens of thousands of dollars versus litigating a divorce in court.
Once you file for divorce, serve your complaint on your husband (in which you enumerate all of the skeezy things he has done to make you want this divorce) and set a pendente lite (temporary support) hearing where you plan to ask for temporary spousal and child support, temporary custody, and exclusion possession of the home, you’re gearing up for a fight. After that point, it’s a lot harder to come back down and negotiate reasonably. Now, you’ve gotten his back up, and he’s not going to be nearly so willing to compromise and have open, honest discussions with you.
Before you go too far down the road and make hasty decisions, get the right information first. Request a free copy of one of our books What Every Virginia Woman Should Know About Divorce, What Every Virginia Military Wife Should Know About Divorce, and the Woman’s Custody Survival Guide to get started. We also offer low-cost seminars about divorce, where you’ll have an opportunity to ask your questions live to one of our licensed, experienced, divorce and custody attorneys. If custody is at issue, check out our popular new seminar Custody Bootcamp for Moms. It’s an all day event designed to help prepare you to litigate your own custody case, and can be really helpful whether or not you’ve already hired an attorney.
Get the facts. It can only help your decision-making, and improve the divorce process for you, your husband, and your children.