One of the first questions I get asked by folks considering divorce is “Where do I start?” It’s a very good question, whether this is your first (and hopefully only) divorce, or you’ve divorced before but the laws have changed since then.
Most of the people I talk to considering divorce have usually already started researching divorce on the internet. The internet can be a powerful and useful tool for divorcing couples. But it can also be a source of confusion, mis-information, and conflicting suggestions.
This is because internet articles and posts can come from various states with varying laws, the authors may speak about personal experiences rather than provide analysis and authority, and divorce experience varies significantly from couple to couple, family to family. For some it can be a positive experience that puts the couple into an unexpected relationship that is more healthy than the contention and doubt that existed before. For others, it can be a devastating tragedy that results in years of bitter contests and fighting.
The divorce experience is very personal and unique to each person. While the legal steps and procedures may be the same from case to case, how a couple divorces and the experience varies in every case. Fear is the most common emotion in divorce, and fear drives people to do things they otherwise would not do.
To overcome fear, the best thing you can do is get good information and advice. Therefore, I recommend anyone considering divorce start with talking to a lawyer. Talking to a lawyer does not mean you have committed to divorce. It also does not mean your relationship is doomed or over.
A lawyer in this instance is simply a good source of information. Don’t be embarrassed about talking to a lawyer. Asking a lawyer about divorce is no different that asking a doctor about a pain you are having. You are not expected to know the information you are asking the lawyer about. Lawyers are trained and paid to answer questions – that’s what we do! Also, there are no stupid questions. This is new for you, you don’t know what you need to know, and so your best option is to talk to a professional that can help you.
When considering divorce, it’s best to start with the professional whose job is to help you. Contact a lawyer today if you are considering divorce. Don’t let fear make your decisions, let them be made with good information and sound judgment with the assistance of counsel.