Meeting with an attorney to discuss your divorce can be an intimidating experience. You may have a certain idea of what you want and how things will go, but it is important that you go into the meeting prepared, even for things you may not have expected. There may be parts of the divorce that you haven’t considered and may not understand what is important moving forward and what is not.
Below is a list of questions that are helpful when meeting with an attorney. We also offer lists of questions to ask regarding the following situations as well:
–Questions to Ask About Your Lawyer & Their Experience
–Questions about Child Support & Custody
Divorce Process & Options
What divorce options do I have?
There are several types of divorce, from uncontested to collaborative to mediated. Each case takes into consideration different factors, and an experienced lawyer will be able to guide you towards the type of divorce that will be best the details of your situation.
Am I eligible for an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce can be quick and less emotional. What would make you ineligible for this type of divorce?
Am I eligible for a collaborative divorce?
A collaborative divorce focuses on a win-win agreement, and is the opposite of going to court. Does your lawyer believe this is an option? Why or why not?
What is a mediated divorce and can I reach a settlement?
The goal of a divorce is to reach a settlement on all issues. Is this possible in your case?
Can I file for annulment?
An annulment is basically a decree that a marriage is void, or that a legal marriage never took place. Is this a possibility in your case?
Should I file for divorce or wait for my spouse to file?
Get more information about the benefits of filing first or waiting for your spouse.
Should I file for legal or physical separation?
Florida does not have a process for legal separation, but it does offer the ability for two parties to divide assets and support one another without filing for divorce. Many cases follow the path of physical separation before legal separation or filing for divorce.
What if my spouse does not hire a lawyer?
This can often extend the process of divorce, and a strategy must be developed to deal with this type of situtation.
Should I make photocopies of records?
You may come across records that are only your spouses. Should you take them or leave them alone? Should you keep these records?
Can I videotape or record my spouse?
There are strict electronic communication laws in Florida. As a general rule, you should not videotape or record your spouse without their permission.
What if my spouse cuts me off financially?
If one party controls the other from a financial perspective, and understanding your options should this be true for your situation is important and can give you peace of mind.
Do I need to get physical or mental examinations?
In alimony cases, physical health can become an issue, and in child custody cases, mental health can become an issue. Do you anticipate allegations regarding these types of incapacity?
I have substance abuse issues, what should I do?
If you are concerned about this, there are pro-active actions you can take to help your case.
My spouse has substance abuse issues, what do I do?
Making sure to protect your children and understanding how this factors into your divorce proceedings is something an experienced lawyer can guide you through.
Asset & Debt Information
What can I do if I believe my spouse is hiding assets? Do I need to gather specific financial documents? When are documents due?
Understanding what documents you need to gather and when to have them is an important part of the divorce process. Often one spouse will have more knowledge of assets and getting the full picture is very important.
What documents will I need to request from my spouse or their employer?
You may not have access to all documents and there may be cases when these need to be requested.
How will the courts decide who keeps what? Will our stuff be split 50/50?
How does the court determine asset distribution?
What is the difference between a marital and non-martial asset?
Marital assets can be divided by the courts, whereas non-marital assets belong to only one party. How does the courts decide what is marital and non-martial?
How can we stop my spouse from liquidating assets while the divorce is pending?
Out of anger, one spouse may decide to squander away marital funds. How can this be slowed down or stopped?
Do I need to sell my home?
Each case is different. What would have to happen for you to be able to keep the home or force you to sell it?
Do I have legal ground to keep the home even if it is in my spouse’s name only?
If income was used by both parties to pay for the mortgage of the home this can create a legal interest in the home from the party whose name is not present on paper.
How does the court approach retirement accounts?
Retirement accounts are usually titled for each individual party. They usually take a long time to accrue wealth, and understanding how much of that is protected is important.
What is a QDRO?
A qualified domestic relations order recognizes joint marital ownership interests. It can help you understand how to split up assets and debts.
What type of alimony do I qualify for?
There are multiple types of alimony. Each is appropriate in different types of cases from long term or short term, even temporary.
How does the court determine the amount of alimony due?
Florida uses a multi-faceted approach to determining alimony awards.
What is standard of living and how does it impact alimony?
Standard of living is determined by the type of lifestyle that one experienced during the marriage and can be expected to be upheld following the divorce. This can impact alimony amounts.
How is alimony taxed?
This understanding can help you determine the best structure for an alimony agreement.
How does domestic abuse impact my case?
Often times, domestic abuse cases go to trial and are the most difficult to negotiate.
How does domestic abuse impact child custody?
If a parent is physically abusive to one parent, but not the children, this can produce an issue for the courts as they try to exercise time-sharing whenever possible. How should we approach this situation?
Meeting with your attorney for the first time can be an overwhelming experience as it is the first step in moving towards divorce. Making sure that you understand your rights, as well as the way that the divorce process will unfold with a particular attorney can be very comforting and help you to see the coming events more clearly.
If you are considering prepared to file for divorce and have questions about the process and how it will affect your family, Seff & Capizzi Law Group has the ability to assist with your situation. At Seff & Capizzi Law Group, we regularly assist clients and provide valuable information for those that need assistance in understanding how to approach this particular situation in their own lives.
If you need assistance with your divorce or child custody case, please call us at (954) 920-9220. We have over 40 years of experience and offer a free consultation. Click here for more information about our family law practice and how Seff & Capizzi can help.