When considering divorce, should I leave the house?
See an attorney who is familiar with real estate-related divorcesIt is extremely important that at this stage you go to see an attorney who can assess your entire situation. Do NOT talk about divorce with your spouse. Do not talk about dividing up assets. If you don't know your rights and don't know the law that will apply to your situation, including your entire financial future and the future of your relationship with your children, you cannot afford not to see an attorney for at least an hour or two. Ask your attorney or their paralegal what you could bring to the initial consultation that would be helpful.
Decide what kind of a case yours is.Many people mismatch themselves with attorneys, then have to switch. The $400 per hour attorneys are right for some people, but keep in mind that if you are not prepared to spend at least $10,000 and potentially up to $150,000 on your divorce, you might have the wrong attorney. Cheaper attorneys often get a result that is similar, but with far less spent on attorney's fees. If you are looking for flawless artwork, receptionists, and paralegals, look no further than 16th street. Keep in mind that along with paying for good representation, you are paying the rent. If you would like to keep your bill under $10,000, consider an attorney who has a reputation for doing that. A $400 per hour attorney and their $125 per hour paralegal is not usually a problem for a millionaire, but can be a big problem in a divorce with $150,000 to split.
Take mediation seriously and consider alternatives to the public court systemMediation statistically settles about 70% of all family law cases. No matter how hostile your case is, chances are at least part of it will settle in mediation if two attorneys are involved. If you really feel up to it and your spouse agrees, you can submit your case to a private law judge (recommended in most family law cases) or an arbitrator (not recommended for cases with children). It might cost $1500 a day to hire a retired judge, but most people who use them usually finish their cases months earlier (saving money, time, and energy), and they benefit from many years of experience.