WHAT WILL MY DIVORCE CASE INVOLVE?
The first step in the divorce process is a discussion with your lawyer regarding the divorce process. The court system includes a maze of procedural and substantive rules that are outside the experience of most lay people. It is important at the beginning of the case for your lawyer to take the time to explain the court process and to let you know what to expect. While being in divorce court may not be your idea of fun, it does not have to be a frightening experience. When you know what to expect, you can focus on the specifics of your case.
Keep in mind, however, that while the procedures are similar in each case, no two cases are exactly alike. Everyone’s life – and thus everyone’s divorce case – is unique. There are a vast number of issues that may arise. These issues may include, but are not necessarily limited to, spousal maintenance (alimony); disposition of the house; valuing a business; dividing a 401(k), IRA and other retirement accounts; domestic violence; sole and separate property; gifts; assigning responsibility for debt; dividing military benefits; ownership of cars; health insurance; frequent flyer miles; the rights to time-shares; personal injury claims; child custody (legal decision making authority); parenting time; supervised visitation; private school tuition; extracurricular activities; insurance for children; uncovered health care costs; dividing the holidays; tax deductions; tax obligations; loans; investment assets; and the division of personal property. Your case may involve any number of these issues and more.
The failure to address any of these issues may have a lasting impact on your life. Trying to save a few bucks by leaving these issues in the hands of a paralegal, an inexperienced attorney or a lawyer who simply wants to collect a fee without putting in any effort can be disastrous. You deserve better. It is important to review your entire case with your attorney at the commencement of the representation to determine the unique issues in your case, what evidence you will need, and how to present the evidence within the court’s rules and procedures
Lay people tend to think that they can go back to court at any time in the future to change their divorce decrees. As to most issues, that belief is incorrect. Even when a party has the right to seek a modification of a decree, it is much more difficult and expensive to change a decree than simply to address the issue properly at the time the decree is first entered. Therefore, it is essential to have a solid game plan from the start.
Roger D. Smith has 35 years experience in handling the above issues, both in terms of settlement and trials.
R D SMITH LAW, Roger D. Smith, attorney, is ready to guide you through the divorce process. Contact our office at 480-443-7600 to arrange your personal consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.