If you are thinking of filing for divorce, know that you are not alone. Studies show that the chances of a marriage in the United States ending in divorce are between 40 percent and 50 percent. Although some divorces can be settled amicably, it’s also possible for the divorce to be contested, which can be a lengthy affair that is best settled with the assistance of a divorce lawyer or child support attorney because when children are involved, custody and visitation rights will need to be determined as well as the amount of financial support they’ll require.
Ascertain the Value of Assets and Income
When it has become impossible for you and your spouse to agree on how you’re going to split the assets or how much child support is necessary, you’ll probably find it best to have an experienced attorney by your side who can help protect your specific interests. However, there are a number of steps you can take to prepare for your case and be ready when the divorce proceedings begin. One of the most important aspects of progressing smoothly through a contested divorce is to accurately determine the assets and income you have.
When it comes to your assets, it can be easy to forget which items are owned by you and which are owned by your spouse. This can be particularly difficult if you’ve never handled the family finances. When you are thinking of getting a divorce, the first thing you need to do is identify which assets are yours. Look for any bank statements you can locate and find out all that you can about who really owns the home that you live in and the cars that are in your driveway. Copy any document you believe is important to identifying your complete assets. You also need to be aware of your specific income level, which is something that your recent tax returns will assist you in identifying.
Focus on Custody
If you have children, some of the most important facets of the divorce proceedings will include child support and child custody. We’ll try to make sure that all the medical and educational needs of your children are taken into consideration when determining the best course for both custody and visitation. In the case of child support, it’s important that you include all your sources of income in order to identify the level of financial assistance that’s necessary.
If you believe that custody will be contested along with other aspects of your divorce, consider starting a journal about all the important events that have recently happened in your child’s life. This can be important if you have some safety concerns regarding the other parent. A journal will allow you to keep track of all the details you might otherwise forget if you don’t write them down. Keep recording any pertinent details even after the divorce proceedings have started. It can sometimes prove to be very helpful.
Seek the Counsel of an Attorney
In some situations, it may be possible to get through a divorce without retaining an attorney. This might be true in cases where mediation is possible as a means of dividing the assets and an agreement can be reached regarding child custody and support. However, if any of these important aspects is in dispute, it would probably be wise to arrange legal counsel. Before you seek out an attorney, make sure that you are organized and have everything you believe you’ll need for a contested divorce.
When you already have a binder or folder filled with what you believe to be the essential documents related to your case, it’s possible that you can save money on the expenses associated with litigation. An experienced attorney from our practice will understand how Pennsylvania law relates to your circumstances and attempt to achieve a favorable outcome for you. Our firm will guide you through this process and try to minimize the stress you experience as the divorce proceeds.
If you are considering filing for divorce and expect the matter to be contested, call the law office of Joanne Kleiner to schedule an appointment. We’ll arrange a consultation for you with our divorce and child support attorney so that you can determine whether our services are the right fit for your needs. Our office is located in Jenkintown, and we can be reached by phone at 215-886-1266.