If I am contemplating divorcing my husband and have an appointment scheduled with a lawyer, what questions do I ask?

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If I am contemplating divorcing my husband and have an appointment scheduled with a lawyer, what questions do I ask?

Married 22 years; 14 year-old daughter.

Asked on April 26, 2011 under Family Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The key issues are going to be finances and child custody. So it's less asking questions, and more about being prepared. Bring with you any tax returns or other documents (e.g. pay stubs) that will show your and his earnings, and be prepared to discuss finances; bring with you anything which will show key assets and liabilities (e.g. bank and brokerage accounts, cars, house) and be prepared to discuss those; think about what you would require going forward to support yourself and your child, and issues such as whether you'd be willing to trade off getting the house, for example, for less support or other assets.

If you supported your husband while he went to professional school or started a business, then be prepared to discuss that in detail--you may have some interest in his earnings.

Custody: do you want custody? Or do you want joint custody, or even that your husband have custody? What visitation would you want? Has there been any evidence that your husband has been a bad parent?

Basically, think about you want, and be prepared to discuss finances and custody, which are always THE key issues, in as much depth as possible. Also, think about how you want this go down--if you are interested in a good relationship in the future with your to-be-ex-spouse, tell the attorney that; the lawyer will take a different tack than if you say that you never want to speak to him again.


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