10 Questions by Your Divorce Lawyer You Should Be Prepared to Answer

If you’re considering getting a divorce, you’ll want to get legal advice from a professional divorce attorney. They know their way around the divorce process and can help you navigate the proceedings. But not every divorce case is the same. To provide you with honest legal advice, they’ll want some information about your marriage. To get the conversation started, they’ll ask a few questions. Here are some questions you should be prepared to answer.

1. Why are you getting a divorce?

There are many reasons why couples choose to split up. These include infidelity, lack of financial transparency, and substance abuse issues. Explaining the reason for your divorce will help your lawyer determine whether the divorce is amicable or not. If you wronged your spouse or vice versa, your Summerlin divorce lawyer should know the truth to prepare a strong case. Even if you’re in the wrong, don’t hide any details that could come out later on and affect your case.

2. Where are you living currently?

Your attorney needs to know whether you and your spouse are currently living together. And if you decide to separate, they’ll want to know how long it has been. That’s because leaving the family home could affect numerous aspects of your case, including property division, child custody, and alimony.

So, it’s best to remain in the marital home unless the situation involves domestic violence or unsafe living conditions for you and your children. You should also inform your spouse if other family members or minor children live in the family home. If that’s the case, it can affect divorce proceedings.

3. Do you have any children with your spouse?

During a divorce, issues of child custody severely impact the length and complexity of the process. Therefore, mention if you and your spouse have any kids together, especially if they’re still minors. During a contested divorce, child custody is a stressful and emotional matter, so being honest with your attorney about your expectations can help you get your desired outcomes.

At this point, you should also talk about your relationship with your children. In a custody case, courts factor in children’s relationship with their parents to decide who they should stay with.

4. What are your biggest priorities for divorce?

In a divorce, you’ll need to be prepared to negotiate and compromise on certain aspects. It’s not always possible to get everything you want, but the right divorce attorney can help ensure that you get what’s most important.

Therefore, you should be upfront about your biggest priorities and what you wish to obtain in the outcome. Do you want ownership of certain assets like the marital home? Do you want full custody or joint custody of your children? Be honest about your biggest priorities to avoid facing disappointment later on.

5. What assets do you share with your spouse?

If you and your spouse currently share any assets, your divorce lawyer will want to know. These can include joint investment and savings accounts. In that case, you should provide a written inventory of these shared accounts and assets. Keep in mind that assets also include real estate properties like vacation homes or rental properties. In the event that there are multiple shared properties, you should mention if you and your spouse claim a separate interest in it.

If you have shared assets, you should mention where they’re currently held. Your attorney may need bank statements, but it’s not necessary to bring them during the initial consultation. You should, however, have information about your different assets. Specifically, they may ask when you purchase a specific asset, whether you took out a loan to purchase it, and if you’ve refinanced it.

6. What are your financial assets?

Keep in mind that not all assets are categorized as shared or marital property. An experienced attorney can clarify which assets are shared and which ones are separate. So, if you have any personal accounts or assets that you acquired before marriage, be prepared to discuss them with your divorce attorney. They’ll also inquire about your retirement accounts, such as pensions, IRAs, or 401(k)s, or other bank accounts. You should clarify whether you opened them before or after you got married.  

7. Do you or your spouse struggle with addiction or mental health concerns?

If there are concerns of addiction or any other mental health concerns in the marriage, you should talk about them with your divorce lawyer. For instance, if your spouse has used funds from a shared account to fund their addiction, it’s a relevant detail that helps in the division of property. Similarly, if your spouse has a mental health concern that makes them unfit to take care of your children, this detail is relevant during custody discussions.

8. Are you currently employed?

Your lawyer will ask if you’re currently employed, along with relevant details like your current job title and how much you make. They’ll also want to know if your spouse is employed and how much they make. At this point of the discussions, you should also bring up other sources of income, whether it’s a small business, shares in a company, or other investments.

9. Are you in any debt?

If you and your spouse have taken out a loan using a joint credit card, then your lawyer will need to know. They’ll need to determine how both parties will split credit cards or other forms of debt in the event of a divorce. In a co-signed personal loan, it’s likely that you and your spouse will have shared liability, but it’s best to ask your family lawyer first.

10. Are you worried about hidden assets?

When discussing assets and accounts, you should bring up concerns about hidden assets if you have any. Maybe you’re concerned that your spouse is intentionally hiding assets or has an offshore account. Regardless, you should bring it up with your attorney.

Of course, these questions are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the things you should mention to your family attorney. Nevertheless, it’s a great way to get the conversation started and gradually cover everything.

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