Ask the Expert: ‘I want to file for divorce. Where do I begin?’
By LNapolitanoPsyD on April 04, 2014
Julie Ganz, Esquire of Fox Rothschild, LLP answers this question.
If you find yourself facing a divorce, your head may be filled with dozens of thoughts and worries and questions. Below are a few considerations to keep in mind as you start your journey:
It is important, if you decide to retain an attorney, to find the right attorney for you. If your case involves any complicated issues (i.e. one of the parties is self-employed, there are assets that are more difficult to value, etc.), find an attorney with experience in handling these subjects, even if he or she is more expensive. If your case involves a 401(k) and a checking account, you likely do not need the same depth of knowledge and experience in an attorney. It is still important, however, to retain a lawyer with family law experience, who can navigate the system.
Find an attorney you like. Sure, you will not become best friends with your attorney and you may cringe every time he or she calls, but you want an attorney who you can talk to, who you can trust, and who you feel understands your goals in the litigation.
Be prepared to have less of it. It is more expensive to operate two households than one. Moreover, you will have new expenses, like replacement furniture, counseling and counsel fees. And getting divorced can take time away from work, meaning you may bring home less income as well. Creating a new, more conservative budget at the outset of your divorce is a good idea.
Additionally, figuring out how to save yourself money relating to the divorce will help. Knowing and understanding your finances and remaining organized and responsive will help save you counsel fees. Collecting information yourself, rather than relying on your attorney, will also save you fees. Remembering that your attorney is not a therapist will save money. Ask your attorney if there is anything else you can do to help keep costs down.
Your divorce has the potential to be much harder on your children than on you. Find support for your kids, through the guidance counselor at school, a private therapist, support groups and friends and family. Keep your children shielded from the conflict as much as possible. Remind them you love them, their other parent loves them and that it is ok that they love you and your soon to be ex. Additionally, it does not hurt to find support for you to help you learn to support your children. Co-parenting counseling is a valuable tool, as is family counseling. Not only will this help your kids, but it will help you in any custody litigation as well.
Julie Ganz, Esquire
Fox Rothschild, LLP
747 Constitution Drive
Suite 100 P.O. Box 673
Exton, PA 19341-0673
Lauren Napolitano, Psy.D.
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