First, you want to make sure you are making the right process choice. In other words, getting a divorce looks different in every case. Some need the strong advocacy of a tough lawyer. Others want a more client-controlled process where there are negotiations between lawyers and between spouses, and perhaps a mediator, regarding property, assets, and children.
So, you must educate yourself as to the kind of process you want this to be. That means determining what your goals are in the short term and the long term from a financial perspective, an emotional perspective, and a practical perspective. You also want to take inventory of what your spouse is going to want.
When you know all of this, educate your lawyer about your case. Share your goals, needs, and positions. When in dialogue with your attorney, listen to what she is saying and ask questions so the two of you are on the same page. Have records and documents for your attorney to help her do a better job.
Thomas J. Petrelli, Jr. is a partner at Petrelli Previtera Schimmel, LLC, focusing on cases of divorce and related matters, support, custody, and parental rights.
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