5 Major Costs of Putting Off an Appointment with a Divorce and Family Lawyer

For many of you who have decided to divorce or have been divorced but the divorce agreement is outdated, the thought of picking up the phone (or going online) to contact a divorce and family lawyer evokes apprehension and queasiness, much like the thought of making an appointment for a doctor or for root canal.  You might have heard “horror stories” from well-meaning friends, family, acquaintances, and colleagues.

Perhaps everything is calm and copacetic between you and your spouse and you don’t want to “rock the boat” by stirring up any conflict.  I get it.  After all, it’s reasonable to want to tend to anything else first.

But what is this delay and avoidance costing you?  Actually, plenty.  Specifically:

  1. When you have children, it’s costing your children and it’s costing you.   

Unfortunately, it’s costing your children the emotional unease of experiencing your marital conflict.  Whether or not the conflict is expressed openly, your children are likely to pick up on it.  The term “divorce” is simply a legal term for dissolving the marriage.  What tends to negatively affect your child’s emotional well-being is actually the amount of conflict and hostility present in the household before a divorce.

It’s also costing your children the anxiety and uncertainty of not knowing what will happen to their family, where they will live, and so on.

This applies even where you are either already divorced or never married your co-parent.

In any event, it’s costing you peace of mind – not to mention valuable emotional time with your children – each day that passes and your custody and parenting time issues remain unresolved.

In contrast, by seeing a lawyer now, you will learn how you can access skills and resources that will enable you to begin creating a parenting plan that works not only for you, but most importantly for your children.  Your children will gain security from knowing what to expect.

  1. When you believe you’re avoiding conflict, it’s costing you. 

It’s costing you the opportunity to develop and hone effective communication skills.  It’s also costing you time and energy that would be far better spent on creating your goals for your post-divorce future.

In contrast, making that phone call or going on line to contact a skilled settlement-oriented lawyer is actually likely to reduce conflict while maximizing your chances of achieving a successful settlement that meets your ultimate goals.

  1. When you fail to learn about which divorce process is right for you, it’s costing you. 

It’s costing you time, energy, and perhaps sleep when you assume that your only choice is to “file” for divorce.  In reality, however, there are a myriad of legal processes available.  When you discover the one that’s right for you and arm yourself with a well-formed legal strategy, you will gain a sense of control and peace of mind.

By the same token, putting off meeting with a lawyer gives your spouse an opportunity to hire a divorce lawyer intent on promoting conflict and hostility, costing you more financially and emotionally to then “fight.”

  1. When you have growing assets or income, such as a business, retirement plans, or multiple income streams, it’s costing you.

The longer you stay married, the more likely it will cost you in terms of alimony and division of assets.  If you know the marriage is over, then preserve those assets and income for your children and your post-divorce future.

  1. When you and your spouse keep separate finances or you are unfamiliar with the marital finances, it’s costing you.

While you remain married, your spouse could be incurring large sums of debt, which generally will be shared by both of you.  By avoiding consulting with an attorney, you are missing out on learning how you might minimize liability for any such debt.

In addition, if you don’t know which particular financial and tax documentation is necessary during the divorce process, it is likely to cost much more in legal fees to access them.  Accordingly, by consulting with an attorney now, you can learn which documents are most important and how you might access them immediately.

Take action now and start creating that new post-divorce life for yourself and your children.  The costs are too high and the benefits are too great to wait!

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