If you have recently discovered that your spouse is cheating and you want to get divorced, be sure that you have the right divorce strategy. Collecting evidence of the affair will be helpful, but there are other things that you will want to do when you meet with the divorce lawyer.
A divorce attorney will prep your case, so when you are ready to file the paperwork, you have a plan in action. You may even be able to settle the divorce quickly with mediation if your lawyer already has a strong case in place.
It will be easier for the divorce lawyer to estimate what the potential for alimony and child support will be if they can look at your financial information. The easiest way to get them the most accurate information would be by providing:
- Past years' tax returns
- Checking and savings account statements
- Investment portfolio information
- Monthly expenses
- List of debt
If you have access to these things, bring them with you at the time of your first initial consultation. This gives the lawyer time to overlook everything and start building what they want to request.
The affair could be reason enough for you to wave counseling or reconciliation. Evidence ideal for the case includes:
- Text messages
- Phone records
- Online dating accounts
- Electronic messages
- Photographic evidence
Ask the lawyer if you should hire a private detective to get more information on your spouse and their extramarital activities.
Your action plan should include when you are going to file the paperwork, when you are going to move out or request that your spouse moves out, and when you are going to tell your children what is going on. If you fear that your spouse may turn violent or have other issues, you may want to file for a restraining order, not a contact order or another type of protective action.
It is smart to have your lawyer already working on your case and ready to go when you are ready to leave your cheating spouse, and when you want to get a divorce. Being prepared will help you look good in court, and it will help the case more quickly.
Mediation is a great way to save money on lawyers and save time, but some spouses aren't willing to work together and negotiate. Let your lawyer know if this is something that is a priority for you in the divorce.