1

Assemble Financial Records

A financial affidavit is required. It must list all weekly income, expenses, debts, assets, and savings. This is used to determine child support, alimony and property distribution. It is reviewed by the Judge to make sure that the Agreement is "fair and equitable".

2

Needs of Children

Determine if there are special needs of the children which require additional support. What kind of visitation is appropriate for the noncustodial parent? What is the "best interests" of each child?

3

Create a Budget

By creating a Budget you can determine the adequacy of support and alimony. An analysis must be made by the attorney to determine the level of support necessary to sustain the family. After the application of Child Support, the percentage of overall family support for each party should be determined. Support calculations can be revealing in determining if one party has too much or too little support to meet financial obligations.

4

Mediation

Many parties do not want to go through a contentious divorce and court litigation. If the parties can communicate a mediator, working with the parties in a private setting can eliminate the bitterness of a court trial. Also many parties are now opting for collaborative divorces. The parties and their attorney agree to negotiate all issues in a collaborative fashion, and agree not to go to court except to enter the final agreement.

5

Select an Attorney

Check to see if your potential attorney practices family law on a regular basis. Determine the level of expertise required for your case. Of equal importance, how comfortable do you feel with the attorney. Do your personalities mesh? Are you able to communicate, discuss, and agree on direction. Like a marriage, choosing the right attorney, can determine the success of your case.