Were you blindsided by your spouse with divorce papers? If so, you likely have a range of emotions that may include hurt, anger, and embarrassment. These overwhelming feelings could cause you to make some decisions that could hinder your side of the divorce case. This is why it is sensible to include a divorce lawyer in this complicated matter going forward. Perhaps your spouse does not have a lawyer. They may have attempted to file for divorce alone, but you can still have legal representation to protect yourself.
Avoid making mistakes that violate laws.
You may be eager to dig up all the information that you can on your spouse, but some actions may be illegal in certain jurisdictions. Your lawyer can advise you on steps you can take to discover or provide proof of assets or other pertinent divorce information. They can also let you know which actions are permissible. For example, in some states, it may be illegal to record conversations. This means that even if you recorded your estranged spouse having an inappropriate conversation with their lover, the evidence could be deemed inadmissible in court. You could also face criminal prosecution.
Protect or create your own financial strength.
If you have relied heavily on your spouse's income, you may not have your own accounts. This may have been the norm for many years. It is important to start creating your own financial identity. Consider what would happen if your spouse closed all of the accounts or removed your name from them. A lawyer could file paperwork to protect your spouse from denying you any type of support. For example, temporary spousal support could be requested by a lawyer and ordered by the court. Opening a checking account is another recommendation that your lawyer might make to start the process of having your own separate finances and account.
Ensure that your rights are protected.
Your estranged spouse may have a number of reasons for wanting to end the marriage. Perhaps there is an issue such as adultery that you are aware of. A lawyer can provide evidentiary information to the court on your behalf. The affair(s) that your spouse had during the marriage could result in you being awarded alimony. Perhaps you have minor children who will need to be supported. Child support is a separate issue that your lawyer can address to the court. They may also be able to compile facts about the marriage and parenting in the household. This information could be used to determine whether there will be sole or shared custody. For example, if your spouse was rarely home during the marriage or constantly scolded the children, this could work in your favor.
For more advice, talk to a divorce attorney at a law firm like the Law Office Of Les Downs.