Even under the most amicable of circumstances, terminating your marriage can be complex and emotional, and it often is difficult to know where to begin and what to expect by the unfamiliar legal process.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of contemplating a divorce we highly recommend that you contact an attorney for a consult. What you can expect in that consult, and what you should demand in that consult is all the information specific to your family to your specific case when you go through that consult it’s an information gathering time. Information is power, knowledge is power and that is really what you need in this difficult time in your life.
So, a few things that you will want to talk about and be prepared to discuss with your attorney in that consult.
First and foremost do you have children? How old are the children? What kind of a relationship have they had with both parents? How have the parents been taking care of the children? Who’s been responsible for many of the children’s activities, meeting with doctors, those kinds of things? Then of course once you are able to discuss all of your children’s matters, which go way beyond these above items, you will want to talk about assets and liabilities. Those are the things that the courts are looking for.
How are we going to divide your assets and liabilities? Here in Ohio everybody starts at the 50/50 point. That’s a difficult concept for people to grasp, but you will want to have that information. Your attorney is going to ask you to gather as much information as you can about your assets and liabilities. So you have a lot of information to give about children, most importantly. Then you have a lot of information to give about your assets and liabilities. Then we talk about how long have you been married. What are the options for you when your marriage dissolves? Who is going to stay in the marital home? Who’s going to keep the vacation home, the timeshare? Which car goes to which person? These all are things that you need to think about.
Insurance is a big thing, a big issue for you to discuss. Typically an entire family is on the same insurance policy and when you are divorced that is not an option for you. Spouses cannot keep the other person on their insurance. So there are a multitude of things that you really need to talk through and discuss with your attorney so that you can be best prepared when you go to court.
Some of the steps that you should anticipate when you go to court, you’ll have what’s called a Temporary Order Hearing, that’s a hearing to try and determine what are the rights and responsibilities of each person in that marriage. How are we going to help you manage your family, manage the children, manage the finances as you go through your case. Unfortunately, many cases can last up to two years. So that first temporary order is really critical to the security for your family and that’s what you should really be talking to your attorney about; even in that first consult you want to gather as much information as you can, you want to give your attorney as much information as you can because that’s what’s going to help your attorney prepare you as best they can to move through this very difficult process of divorce.
Please note that this is not legal advice, and we recommend that you consult an attorney such as our NBC4Law partner The Massucci Law Group.