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3 ways to prepare for your first meeting with a divorce lawyer

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2021 | Family Law

Many people considering divorce will wait for months before they finally talk to a lawyer or file any formal paperwork. If you are in that waiting stage where you have already decided that your marriage is beyond saving but you aren’t yet ready to file, there are things that you can do now to help get ready.

Being prepared before you sit down with an attorney to talk about your divorce will help you feel empowered and will lead to a more productive conversation. What should you do before that first meeting? 

Document your financial circumstances

Financial records play an important role in modern divorce. You and your ex both have to disclose your assets and debts to one another and possibly also the courts during your divorce. You have to share the information with each other if you try to negotiate a settlement, and you will have to share it with the courts if you cannot settle your property division and custody issues outside of court.

Spouses withholding, altering or destroying financial records can occur during a contentious divorce, so obtaining those records now will help you. So will making a list of your physical assets before your spouse has an opportunity to hide or valuable property.

Learn the basics of Tennessee divorce law

Often, lawyers will spend their initial consultation explaining the basics of how the state handles litigated custody and property division matters so that people understand what to expect. If you familiarize yourself with state law, you won’t have as many generic questions and can focus more on what specifically applies in your case.

The Tennessee courts apply equitable distribution rules to your property, and a judge will have to focus on what is best for the children if you litigate your custody matters. Understanding those basics will help you establish more reasonable goals for your upcoming divorce.

Be ready to explain your ideal outcome

Once you understand the basic concepts of property division and custody sharing, you can start thinking about what the best-case scenario would be for you in your divorce. Having clear, achievable goals will make focusing on the big picture as you prepare for your divorce easier. Preparing carefully in the early stages of your divorce will help you achieve a better outcome.