For family law attorneys, the new year is one of the busiest times for divorces. You may be considering a separation from your spouse once the holidays are over. Here what you should know before getting started.

How to Approach a Divorce After New Years

1. Hire a Family Law Attorney Early

Speak with an attorney early in the process so you can be fully informed of your rights from the onset, especially if you anticipate your spouse being resistant or adversarial. In addition to being an experienced matrimonial practitioner, your attorney should also be someone with whom you feel comfortable talking about your marriage, due to the highly personal nature of divorce.

2. Avoid Making Major Life Changes Before Speaking to Your Attorney

If you feel the temptation to make major life changes once you decide to pursue a divorce, talk with your divorce attorney first to ensure there won’t be legal consequences. For example, if you decide to accept a job in a new city, you may find that there’s a minimum residency requirement before you can file for divorce. If your spouse files before you do, you could find yourself traveling back and forth for divorce proceedings.  In addition, there are restrictions on transfers of assets during a divorce in New York State.

3. Determine Your Financial Needs

family lawBefore meeting with your attorney, gather any necessary documents and financial records to show the assets and liabilities you and your spouse share, as well as monthly household income and expenses. Your attorney will want this information as soon as possible to prepare ro protect your assets and your rights.

4. Determine Your Children’s Needs

If you and your spouse have children that depend on you for financial support, their needs will come first in any divorce.  Courts are primarily concerned with preserving the status quo for children and minimizing the adverse impact that divorce has on their lives. Judges have been known to literally say “I don’t care about you, I care about your kids.”

To best represent you and your child’s interests, your attorney will need a clear idea of the children’s current and future needs, including the level of care and attention they require, their medical needs and expenses, and education-related costs.

5. Decide What You Want Out of Life After the Divorce Is Concluded

Before meeting your attorney, think about where you’d like to see yourself once the divorce is over. Do you want to change careers, cities, or go back to school? Do you want to remain out of the workforce so you can dedicate your time to raising your children? The sooner you consider these questions, the sooner your attorney can begin formulating a plan to meet your needs.

If you plan on filing for divorce after the new year, you need the right legal team on your side. The skilled professionals of Pirrello, Personte & Feder, PLLC, Attorney at Law in Rochester, NY, have over 120 years of combined experience serving residents of Monroe and the surrounding counties in civil law matters, including real estate, personal injury, litigation and family law. To learn more about their services, visit their website or call (585)-544-7090.