Q: My Spouse Filed For Divorce and I Was Completely Blind-sided. What Do I Do?
I am sure that it feels like your world is coming apart right now and that everything that matters to you is falling apart. Call your friends and family to talk about it. Take deep breaths and concentrate on your breathing when you feel completely overwhelmed. Consider consulting with a counselor, psychiatrist or social worker. Do not act out against your spouse, call names or threaten as that only makes matters worse. You should ask if your spouse wants to try to work things out through counseling and let your spouse know that you respect their decision but you would prefer to maintain the relationship. But, once you have given yourself a day or two to grieve, it is time to consult with lawyers and hire yourself a knowledgeable and compassionate family law attorney.
What Should I Look For in a Family Law Attorney or Divorce Lawyer?
You should look for an attorney that only practices in the area of family law. Many attorneys will dabble in family law and other areas of practice, but given the immensely important issues involved in these cases, you really want someone that only handles these types of cases.
The attorney will often list their credentials, including where they attended law school, when they graduated and how many years they have been practicing. It is wise to hire an attorney that has at least ten years of experience as an attorney and at least five of those years solely in the area of divorce practice.
You should meet with more than one attorney before hiring a divorce lawyer for a variety of reasons. First it is important to get a feeling for whether the attorney seems to know what they are doing and should be able to explain to you at least generally the divorce process, custody, parenting time, property distribution and alimony as it relates to your case. You should have some feeling of confidence that your attorney will do what is best for you without causing unnecessary strain and emotional hardship for your family or generate more attorney fees than are reasonable. When you leave the office of the attorney you should feel some form of relief in at least having a better understanding of what the future holds, even if it is difficult.
Finally, you should feel that the attorney is compassionate and cares about you and your family. In this area of the law it is important that the person representing you has some empathy for your situation in order to properly represent you and argue on your behalf when it is needed. If this is lacking, it is very difficult for the attorney to properly present your point of view to the judge, mediator or arbitrator.
If you have questions regarding divorce or family law issues, the experienced staff at Cameron C. Goulding Family Law and Mediation, P.L.C. can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
From our office in Rochester Hills, Michigan, we provide experienced, one-on-one legal services to families throughout Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, Lapeer and Wayne Counties. It's all we do.