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You and Your Divorce Lawyer Are a Team

It’s time to get to work again, but this time you’ll be directly advancing your legal divorce case. Information and documents are waiting to be located and processed to ensure that nothing is missed. Initial decisions are needed on a number of property issues. You have a preliminary evaluation to make of your entire case. The consultants and experts that will need to be hired will be identified based upon your first assessment.

Do as much of this work as you can. You can move your case along far more rapidly and with less cost if you pitch in and help gather the facts instead of waiting for, and paying, someone else to do it.

This information-gathering phase will serve to provide the factual foundation for all the legal and analytical work to follow. Your attorney’s primary role, of course, is to assist you in making decisions by giving legal advice. That advice will be based upon these facts. After you decide, again based on these facts and the legal advice, your attorney will carry out your decision.

First, we’ll consider whether any of your initial concerns require immediate action.

Second, you’ll start your legal proceeding by filing your summons and petition for divorce with the court and serving your spouse.

Third, you’ll begin to collect information available to you while your attorney gathers information from others, including your spouse.

Fourth, you must deal with questions from your spouse’s attorney that must be answered, usually in interrogatories and at your deposition.

Finally, in this chapter you will get an introduction to the property issues in your case: the family home, retirement plans, deferred compensation plans, business interests, miscellaneous personal property, taxes and reimbursement. However, this first substantive look at your case is only a preliminary one, designed to start you in the right direction. The fully comprehensive discussion is in Chapter Thirteen, where you’ll review and refine this tentative plan.