How to Consult an Attorney for a Divorce
There is much legality involved in a divorce, and when you are planning to acquire one, it is quite important to hire a divorce lawyer. Your lawyer will not only help you with the proceedings of the divorce, but will also make sure your rights are protected and you obtain the best deal. In case the divorce proceedings get ugly, your lawyer can also act as an effective mediator to keep things under control.
The situation is already bad enough. Your name is probably already sullied a little bit. Those things you just have to accept. But you do not want your divorce being a situation of macabre and text book hate. That will spoil everything and perhaps make this situation go even longer. This is when emotions take over and resolute behavior that is not even based on logic but just pure animosity. Not even a fantastic attorney can talk someone out of this when their mind is so locked in. Certainly on the female side that is already filled with emotions.
Now your divorce has become one for the ages in the legal community.
If you want to make optimum use of your lawyer during divorce, you need to tell all the important facts connected with our marriage and certain things about your past as well. Your lawyer will be in a much better position to help you, once he or she knows all the important details about your life.
However, during a divorce, you will be going through a tough time emotionally and you might not be able to remember all the things you should be revealing to your lawyer. Even though a fantastic legal mind will ask you all the important details, it is better to be prepared and be ready with the details. Therefore, it is best you prepare notes and make a narrative for your legal representative when you meet for consultation.
The important things you should be telling your attorney should include the following aspects:
ü When you met your husband
ü The date you started living together
ü The date you got married
ü Number of children you have from the marriage and the birth dates of all your kids
ü If you were married before, then details of the previous marriage/s and separation/s
ü What assets were acquired during your marriage
ü If your husband had any property before you became married
ü Did you bring in any property when you married?
ü Do you have any property that you inherited before or after the marriage?
Real Estate Documents You will need During a Divorce
Real estate property and houses are high value assets and are the most contested items during a divorce. This is quite simply because there is normally so many memories tied up into that house. Every room has its own memories and stories to tell in regards to the couple and family that spent so much time in that home. That home also has thousands of dollars and years of work invested into it.
A Logical Expectation
If both of you have worked and contributed to lowering your mortgage then you know that both of you want something back from that home. The person who is willing or is forced by the court to walk away from the home is going to ask and expect some type of financial compensation since they poured years of their paycheck into that house, for instance.
If you have bought a house together after your marriage then it is considered marital property and your wife usually has an equal share in it. In a divorce, you are entitled to an equitable share of all marital assets, and if your wife wants to keep the house, she will have to compensate you in some other way – as slightly mentioned above.
A Home Loan
Secondly, if you have bought the house via a home loan, then the amount of mortgage payments each one of you has contributed will also play a role in deciding who ends up with what.
If you and your wife have agreed to sell real estate property and/or house/s, and share the proceeds from the sale in an agreed ratio, then there still can be other issues. Such issues can include:
§ The appraisal of the house is less than what you owe on the mortgage
§ How to resolve disputes on offers for the house
§ Who will pay the taxes, insurance and mortgage until the house is sold
§ If the house remains unsold when the divorce is finalized, how is house to be awarded in the decree
§ If both of you decide to stay in the house, then should you stay as joint tenants or should the house be divided into specific spaces for each tenant
There are many factors determining the distribution of real estate property and many issues will have to be resolved. Therefore, it is integral and vital to have various documents at the ready pertaining to real estate during a divorce. Such documents include:
- Purchase agreement, deed, or lease agreement of the house/s
v Mortgage deed and mortgage installment payment receipts
v Statement of appraisal or value assessment of the property and/or house
A Living Will and a Medical Power of Attorney During a Divorce
Many people like to set up their health care as they see fit in correlation with their budget and needs. In addition, most folks choose ahead a time who is to manage their affairs and make decisions on their behalf just in case they are not able to dictate their own medical care due to advanced age, an accident, or an illness. Two main documents enable people to note their wishes about how their medical care should be. One is a living will and the other is medical power of attorney.
A Living Will
In a living will, you can specify the type of medical care you would want when you have become incapacitated and do not have the ability to direct the care. The living will strictly spells out your preferences for health care, and is no way related to the usual will that specifies the distribution of property after death. In medical power of attorney, you will be appointing a trusted person to act as your health care agent, to take the required health care decisions for you, and manage your treatment or recovery.
Most men will give their wife the medical power of attorney, and might give specific health care directives to be followed when they are incapacitated. However, when you step over the divorce line and the final decree is granted, the authority of your wife as your health care agent is automatically revoked. Therefore, you will have to name some other person as the agent when you get divorced. If you want your ex-wife to continue being your medical agent then you need to reappoint her by drawing up a new medical power of attorney.
A Vital Decision to Make
Your divorce is not going to have any effect on your directives in your living will, but remember that the person whom you have given the medical power of attorney will be wielding quite a bit of power, in case you are incapacitated and cannot take medical decisions on your own. Hence, during a divorce, you need to reconsider about whom to give medical power of attorney.
Important Financial Records and Documents to have During a Divorce
Here are some important financial documents that you need to have during a divorce, to ensure your spouse does not take advantage of the situation and you receive a fair share of the finances. If you think she is going to play fair you may be correct but why take that chance? Perhaps you have separated somewhat cordially so you feel pretty confident but perhaps with her emotions her attitude about making this separation as serene as possible is no longer a priority.
You need to cover your bases. You cannot take care of your children like you wish (if there are children in the picture) if you do not take this serious now. Even if she is an awesome person full of righteousness, you do not want to give her all the power in how this divorce plays out.
If you have made an iron clad prenuptial agreement, and it is enforceable, then the terms laid down in this agreement will be the main force directing the division of assets and finances. However, consult your lawyer again to make sure this agreement is valid and enforceable.
This document is especially important when your wife is working as an employee in your business. The contract will have implications upon how much money will be payable to your wife after the divorce decree. You would also need to know whether you would be liable if you do not continue to employ her after the divorce.
When family wealth is bound in a trust, then it can create many difficulties during a divorce. If your wife is a beneficiary of the trust, then she will have the right to receive income or capital; however, trusts can also be interpreted with relation to a marriage and can be changed during a divorce.
Inventory of Safe Deposit Box
Couples like to store their valuables, jewelry, and even cash in safe deposit box that can be accessed by both. If you have such a box, then you need to take the inventory of the box as soon as you decide to separate, as there is a likelihood of your wife emptying the contents. Take a full inventory of the box, along with photographic proof.
Inventory of Personal Property
If you have personal property that you had before the marriage and brought to the house, then you need to take a full inventory of such items along with a video or photos of each item. In most cases you are entitled to keep these items and not share them with your wife, and therefore it is important to segregate these items and take their inventory.
Managing Your Credit History and Credit Cards During a Divorce
Divorce is going to bring about dramatic changes in your life and you will see a major impact on your financial situation. To think otherwise is just foolhardy and possibly damaging.
A Massive Bump in the Road of Life
During the divorce, tempers can run high and your wife can become vindictive, which means you need to safeguard your finances and property. Up to now, you would have held almost everything jointly, and even if you had personal property from before the marriage, you would not have bothered about it. However, with divorce, everything changes and you need a game plan to protect your monetary situation.
Your Credit Score will be Impacted
Divorce does not directly affect your credit scores, since your marital status has nothing to do with your creditworthiness. However, divorce does have an impact on your credit indirectly, when you consider the joint ownership of your credit cards and accounts. Secondly, a divorce decree will not change your obligations to your creditors. Even if the court order or settlement may have ordered your wife to pay off the amount on the joint credit card, the credit card company can seek to collect the debt from either party.
Now, if your wife fails to pay, or is late in paying this debt, it will reflect in your credit report with poor scores. The safest course of action to protect your finances would be to remove your name from all jointly owned credit cards. Once your name does not appear, you are not obliged to pay, and whatever happens with that card will not reflect in your credit score.
Covering Your Bases
Once you have decided on separating, you should not only remove your name from all joint credit cards but also obtain a copy of your credit history from the three main agencies, to know where you stand. From the credit reports, you will know your credit scores at the time you have stopped using joint cards and accounts.
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