Hiring a Family Law Attorney When Adopting a Child

A Guide To Divorce

by Jamie Nichols

Divorce is not something that most people anticipate when they get married. Unfortunately, it is still incredibly common. If you are facing a divorce in the near future, it is wise to utilize these tips to ensure that you are emotionally, financially and physically secure throughout the process.

1. Protect Yourself. Always know your rights as they relate to custody, child support and marital assets. You are not powerless if you are equipped with knowledge. This will prepare you for a divorce proceeding, which can be difficult even if you have a great attorney. This also includes having some  knowledge of what you hope to gain and what you are willing to compromise on during the divorce.

2. Hire a divorce attorney. Consult with several attorneys to find one that matches your needs; never settle for the first choice simply because it works. You should go in for this consultation before even filing for divorce so that you can make good decisions early on. Don't settle for a criminal defense attorney simply because he or she is a friend. You need to hire somebody who specializes in divorces just like yours.

3. Attach your name to finances. If you have mutual bank accounts and other financial items that you share, ensure that both signatures are necessary in order to withdraw money. Otherwise, your spouse could empty the accounts. Additionally, avoid co-signing on anything related to credit.

4. Settle custody ahead of time. If you are leaving it up to the courts to decide who has custody of the children, you may be in trouble. Working out custody arrangements before getting to court will ensure that both parents have the time they prefer. Otherwise, the court will make its own judgment -- and it might not be what is in the best interest of your children. Just make sure not to pit the kids against each other or the other parent.

5. Keep documentation of abuse. If you are divorcing after experiencing domestic abuse, it is important that you take photos of each incident. Document your injuries, file police reports when necessary and write down exactly what happens. Women are much more likely to be victims of domestic abuse than men, and many divorces result from this type of violence.

Divorce is hard on everybody -- even those who win custody and child support battles. Nobody wants to endure this legal process, but the best thing you can do is ensure that you and your children are safe.