If you are considering getting a divorce, you will likely meet with a divorce lawyer sometime in the near future. When that happens, you can expect the attorney to ask you several questions to help you better understand your legal rights and options.
Below, you can learn more about the 10 most common questions divorce lawyers often ask people when they meet with them. Our experienced Belleville, Illinois divorce attorneys at Courtney Clark Law, P.C. created this list because we want to help you be prepared and take some of the concerns you might have about meeting with a lawyer for the first time.
10 Questions Divorce Attorneys Often Ask
1. Why do you want a divorce?
This is always a good starting point when meeting with a divorce lawyer for the first time. We understand how overwhelming or upsetting a divorce can be for many people. Our goal is to better understand the issues you’re dealing with in your marriage. That way, we can create solutions that address your most important concerns.
2. What are your most important concerns?
When someone wants to get a divorce, they often have specific concerns or issues that can be deal breakers when it comes to finalizing a divorce. Perhaps such matters involve custody of your children or cherished possessions such as your house, car, or other property. Whatever concerns you might have, our job as your divorce attorney is to make your priorities our priority.
3. What is your living situation?
This question helps our legal team understand where you are now as a couple. For example, are you still sharing a house or another dwelling? Or did one of you move out and get an apartment or move in with someone else, including another romantic partner or family member? Whatever your living situation, this will give us more information about how best to proceed with your divorce proceedings.
4. Are you and your spouse separated? If so, how long?
Being separated from your spouse is an integral part of the divorce process. To file for divorce in Illinois, you must be legally separated from your spouse for at least six months. As a result, if you are still living with your spouse, you cannot file for divorce right away, according to Illinois state law. But before you change your living situation, make sure you talk to an attorney at our law firm. We help you better understand all your legal rights and options before you make any critical decisions, such as moving out of your house and separating from your spouse.
5. Do you and your spouse have any children together?
Child custody is often one of the most critical issues couples have to deal with when getting a divorce. If you have any children together, this will likely be a major part of your divorce proceedings. Our legal team can explain how child custody works in Illinois and find out what your goals are when it comes to custody of your children. That way, we can work toward that goal and aim to achieve whatever child custody arrangement you want.
6. What is your employment status?
Whether you have a job and other details about your employment history can greatly affect your divorce settlement and agreement. Such questions can include:
Do you have a full-time job?
Does your spouse have a job?
Where do your work?
How long have you had your job?
How much money do you make?
The answers to all these questions can make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your divorce and important details like alimony, child support, and more.
7. Do you and your spouse have any shared financial assets?
If you own any shared financial assets with your spouse, such assets will likely be an issue when finalizing your divorce agreement. This is especially true if you have a shared checking account, savings account, or other bank account in both your names.
If it’s not too much trouble, write down a list of which shared assets you own jointly with your spouse before meeting with one of our divorce lawyers. Also, write down roughly how much money such assets are worth. This will give us a good starting point when discussing how your assets may be divided as part of your divorce.
8. Do you have a retirement account?
If you have a 401k, IRA, pension, or another type of retirement account, such accounts could be an issue that needs to be dealt with as part of your divorce. One of the most critical issues involving such accounts was when they were created. Before or after you got married? The timing of when you opened your retirement account and how much money you saved before or after you got married, all need to be taken into account when determining your divorce settlement. Such financial assets could also impact child support payments you make or receive after your divorce is finalized.
9. Do you own any real estate together?
If you and your spouse bought a house, condo, or another property together during your marriage, dividing such shared real estate property will almost surely be part of your divorce settlement.
If you or your spouse purchased any real estate before you were married, that can also be an issue that needs to be addressed. Also, who currently lives in the shared property? Both of you or only one spouse? Such details matter, and our divorce lawyers can review them with you.
10. Were there any abuse or addiction issues during your marriage?
If you or your spouse were abused during the marriage or dealing with any addiction-related issues, it’s important to discuss such sensitive issues as part of your divorce. Addiction issues can cover a wide range, from alcohol and drug addiction to gambling addiction, especially if your spouse used shared assets to pay for their addiction-related expenses. We realize these are very sensitive topics, but it’s important to be honest and open when discussing them with your divorce lawyer.
Why should I hire an Illinois divorce attorney?
So many complex legal issues can come up when you’re getting divorced in Illinois. Our experienced divorce lawyers at Courtney Clark Law, P.C. in Belleville, Illinois, can help you better understand your rights and the legal options available to you.
Remember, many of the decisions you make involving your divorce can have a big, long-term impact on your future for many years to come. Make sure you fully understand everything before you sign any legal documents related to your divorce. Contact our law firm and schedule an appointment. We can walk you through all the legal options available to you associated with your divorce.