When should I consult with an attorney?
Deciding to consult with an attorney about a divorce is a tough emotional decision for most people. It usually marks the "now I'm serious" mode, and is often dreaded and postponed.
However, the first thing that an experienced family lawyer will provide you with is information. "How do we separate"? "Can I take the kids"? "Can I use the money in our savings account"? "If I leave, can I get support"? "Who will pay the bills"?
When these questions arise, it is time to consult with an attorney. Let the attorney give you information which will help you make good decisions in the divorce process. Don't be afraid that speaking with the attorney will begin an irreversible process ending in divorce. An experienced family lawyer will not encourage you to get a divorce, but will allow you to make the decisions on your own schedule. Arm yourself early with the information you need.
Finally, everyone has a friend or family member who has been divorced. And those well-meaning acquaintances will give you lots of "advice" about what to do: "Seize the savings account!" "Change the locks!" "Cousin Martha got the kids and the house!"
Sorting through this information will be difficult and confusing enough, without the hype. Get your love and support from your friends and family, get your emotional guidance from a trained counselor, and get real legal advice from an experienced family lawyer.