It is important to recognize that there are many steps and normally many months that must be endured before a final divorce is granted by the courts. When you are ready – mainly psychologically and/or emotionally to begin this process, the next step is to contact an attorney to handle the legal aspects. You can call us to set up a confidential, 1-hour consultation to discuss your case.
That is the next step…simple as that…call us at (757) 961-3321.
It is also important to note that just because you have a consultation with an attorney does not mean that you need to hire that attorney or even start the formal divorce process. It is just a good first step to get the ball rolling.
Once an attorney is retained, the attorney takes on all of the stress of initiating the divorce case – meaning all of the legal actions. You have plenty to deal with emotionally, financially, logistically, or otherwise...and oftentimes, you have concerns about your kids as well. The last thing you need to worry about is the legal process…that’s why you hire an attorney.
It is true that you do not absolutely need to hire an attorney – that is to say, the courts do not require you to be represented by counsel to get a divorce. However, whether or not you are negotiating a Separation Agreement or litigating a complex case in the courts, it is a good idea to hire an attorney to look out for your interests – and your interests alone.
Remember, it is not just the errors that you can commit in the divorce process, but it can also be the errors you omit. Military Divorce cases have many issues to think about – TSP, SBP, Post-9/11 GI Bill, military retirements, SGLI, TRICARE, to name a few. An attorney who handles military divorce cases should look out for you so that you do not forget to negotiate every issue that relates to your case.
Some cases will be resolved through a Separation Agreement and then an uncontested, no-fault divorce case. Some cases will require complex litigation. For all Virginia divorces regardless of which type of case you are involved in, you will at some point file documents in Circuit Court to have a judge sign a Divorce Decree. The Divorce Decree is a legal document that is the final order in your case – that basically orders the parties to be divorced.
In all events, with the help of an attorney, you don’t need to worry alone about the drafting of documents, deadlines for filing documents, which motions to file, what documents to request in discovery, what questions to ask in interrogatories and/or requests for admissions, whether or not to take depositions, whether to hire expert witnesses, how to work with the Guardian Ad Litem or child consultants, how to prepare for trial and a million other legal related things. Some cases involve very few of these things, some cases involve all of them. This is not to say you will not be thoroughly involved in all aspects of your case…but rather, you should hire someone who will keep you apprised of these issues, provide you the pros and cons of each, and then come up with a strategy and work as a team with your attorney and his or her staff.
If you would like to read about the next few steps in a divorce case…click on the link “The Divorce Process” above. Suffice it to say, the next step is to call us for a consultation.
A consultation should not be stressful. A consultation is your opportunity to meet an attorney, discuss the facts of your case, and ask questions. Remember, you are the consumer and the attorney is the service provider.
Ask the direct questions of the attorney. To name a few…How many cases have you handled? How long have you practiced law? How much of your practice is dedicated to divorce? What percentage of your cases involve military issues and military divorces? Have you ever served in the military? How many Separation Agreements have you drafted this year? How much will this cost? How do you bill? How do you bill for emails and phone calls? How quickly will you respond to my emails and phone calls?
If you do not like the attorney, you do not need to hire him or her. That is why it is a consultation. Until you sign a retainer agreement or agree to retain the attorney, it is just a confidential appointment. That’s it.
A good first step is to call us for a 1-hour, confidential consultation…simple as that.