5 Key Issues for which You Need a Divorce Lawyer
When family issues arise, it may be difficult to know if they require the expertise of a Long Island attorney or if they are problems you can work out on your own. Here are five issues you definitely need a divorce attorney for and how to get the help you need now.
#1. When You’re Getting Married
While it might seem unromantic, establishing a prenuptial agreement is a vital step toward safeguarding yourself and your assets later down the line. Contrary to popular belief, discussing a prenup typically won’t endanger the relationship; in truth, it could act to strengthen your future marriage.
Having a prenuptial agreement has the added advantage of encouraging partners to think about the finer details of their investments and how they manage money. You may think you don’t need a prenup if you’re not affluent, but it’s still beneficial because you never know what financial state you’ll end up in and, unfortunately, if your marriage will last forever. A prenuptial agreement can also help you from being liable for your partner’s debt obligations.
#2. If You’re Thinking About a Divorce
There are some benefits to consulting with a divorce attorney very early in the process, even prior to discussing the option with your ex. An attorney can give you information about divorce mediation, collaborative divorce, settlement negotiations, and arbitration so you can make informed decisions prior to serving your spouse with divorce papers.
It also gives you time to prepare. When you file for divorce, your attorney will need a great deal of information, including important documentation about your family’s finances, including income, debts, assets, etc. Knowing the information you need beforehand will give you time to pull that information together now, rather than waiting, when you might have less access to these documents.
If you start making casual custody, property division, or spousal support arrangements with your ex without first consulting a lawyer, you can face unforeseen legal consequences or you may be stuck with an agreement that’s really not in your family’s best interests.
#3. You Can’t Agree with Your Ex About Child Custody
An family law attorney who specializes in child custody disputes may help families reach an agreement without having to go to court. Parents, their legal counsel, and a third party mediator can work on the issues at hand through divorce mediation or other means of alternative dispute resolution. The objective is always to create a custody and visitation schedule that reflects the best interests of the child.
If the parents are unable to reach an agreement, the matter must be taken to court. An experienced child custody lawyer will be familiar with the factors that judges consider when deciding which parent gets primary custody of the children and can help you make your case.
#4. If You’re Having an Affair
You likely do not want your partner to know that you’ve been having an affair, but marital adultery is something you should tell your lawyer about. Despite your best efforts to keep your affair under wraps, it may come to light during the divorce proceedings anyway, especially if your ex-spouse hires a private investigator.
Your legal counsel would be at a distinct disadvantage if they are caught off guard by the affair. Furthermore, if you have been using marital funds to finance your extramarital relationship, your partner may file a countersuit against you for fraud, and you may be responsible for returning the money you spent on the other person to your total marital assets, which will then be equitably distributed between you and your ex.
#5. If You or Your Children Are Being Abused
It’s scary to be in a violent or dangerous relationship. Out of embarrassment or fear of retaliation by their attacker, many battered spouses never disclose their abuse, even to their nearest friends and family members. However, if you are in an abusive marriage, you should certainly inform your divorce lawyer so that they can help ensure you are protected, including helping you to secure a restraining order.
If you and your partner are still living together, your attorney might suggest a different method of serving them your divorce petition. Your lawyer can also refer you to local services or organizations that can offer you various kinds of support.
Call a Trusted Experienced Long Island Divorce Lawyer Today
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. is a seasoned Long Island, New York family law firm who can help you navigate difficult family legal issues. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation by calling 631-923-1910 or filling out the short form on this page. Our team is available now to answer your questions.
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