By J. Gregory Hatcher, Family Law Attorney & Board Certified Specialist in Family Law
"My spouse just asked for a divorce, now what?" These dreaded words sometimes come as a surprise and sometimes as a relief. If the words are said in anger, or if your relationship has been on the rocks for quite some time, you should simply disengage from the conversation. It’s unlikely that an angry conversation with your spouse will ever result in anything beneficial for you. If you are totally caught off guard, then perhaps you should ask why he/she wants a divorce. If the request for the divorce comes as a relief then it’s possible that you and your spouse can have a calm and rational conversation about what will take place next. Perhaps you can even sit down at the kitchen table and begin talking about the framework of how you will resolve issues ranging from child custody to dividing up the pots and pans.
However, no matter what the situation, you should always speak with an experienced family law attorney. A consultation with an experienced attorney in the field of family law can give you information you need to plan for and move on with the rest of your life. A consultation will allow you to learn the law in the state, any local rules in your judicial district which may affect your situation and an application of the law and rules to your marriage. You should expect guidance from the family law attorney as to your next steps and any strategy that may play into your case.
To make the consultation as effective as possible, organize information about your financial circumstances; create a summary of your income and your expenses on a monthly basis as well as an itemization of your assets and debts. Finally, if you have children, focus on what is best for them and think of a schedule like in a custody scenario for the children that allows them access to both parents and minimizes as much as possible the stress that the divorce will cause on them. The attorney should be able to take this information and use it to better help formulate a plan that works best for you.
J. Gregory Hatcher, managing partner of Hatcher Law Group, P.C., has dedicated nearly 25 years to representing clients in complex family law matters. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and a recognized Board Certified Specialist in Family Law by the North Carolina State Bar. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.