Answer These Questions Before Filing For Divorce

Look, we’re divorce lawyers so we get it as much as anyone: not every relationship is built to last. It’s a sad reality, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to start a new life that better serves your well-being.

No divorce is created equal. Some are simple and straightforward while others are more complex and exhaustive. We want to make sure you’re ready for the process before you call our offices, so let’s explore some steps you should take today before the process begins.

Are there alternatives to divorce?

This is the first and most obvious consideration. Divorce is a last resort to relationships that are just stuck and not going anywhere. If you aren’t in a physically or emotionally damaging relationship, there may still be time to salvage what got you to the altar in the first place.

The most common options to repair relationships include mediation like couple’s therapy or talking it out with family and friends. We are never going to tell anyone to stay in their relationship, but if you have any reservations you should exhaust all options before filing divorce paperwork.

What do I want out of a divorce?

If you’ve exhausted other avenues and arrived at the conclusion that your marriage cannot be salvaged, the next step is to consider what divorced life looks like for you. This process will involve gathering all documents and considering all assets and debts you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have. What assets do you want to keep or control after the divorce? Are you hoping to be the custodial parent and what does visitation and child support look like?

Your opinion matters in your divorce. Should you go to divorce court, you and your attorney will work together to win as many small battles as possible. You should have clear and defined goals before you file for divorce. These goals will guide the process for you, and it also makes negotiating with your ex easier. Know what you want and we’ll work hard to get it for you.

Can I resolve my divorce outside of court?

Some couples are surprised to find out they don’t actually have to stand in front of a judge and drag their names through the mud to get a divorce. If both parties agree to the need for a divorce and can come to terms on how assets and debts will be divided along with details like alimony, child support, and child custody. This requires a more amicable separation, and you and your spouse will need to be thorough in order to accomplish this.

A privately-hired mediator could help you accomplish this, as well. The mediator will take a look at the assets, debts, and other responsibilities and help guide both sides towards an acceptable middle ground.

What do I need from an attorney?

You don’t need a divorce attorney, but if you’re getting a divorce and facing divorce court you should never do it alone. Make sure you are thorough in your search for an attorney and choose the one you feel confident can help you reach your goals through the process. Some divorce attorneys want to zoom through the process and dissolve your marriage, but the right attorney will want to take the time to listen to you, stand by you, and get what you want out of the system.

Attorney John M. Totten, P.C. is a well-known attorney recognized as one of Alabama’s top 100 trial lawyers. He and his team will fight for you as you take the first steps toward your new life. Call our offices today and let us guide you through the process.

John M. Totten