How to Be Your Own Best Advocate in a Divorce
In any legal proceeding, how you represent yourself is key. It is important that you are prepared, knowledgeable, and confident if you want to have any hope of obtaining what you want. In a divorce, this is particularly true. From selecting the right divorce attorney to making tough decisions about your future, it is always important to be your own best advocate.
You may be thinking – “isn’t that my divorce attorney’s job?” While your attorney will fight to protect your interests and meet your goals, it is still your responsibility to provide the information needed, participate in negotiations, and decide what is ultimately best for you and your family.
When you are going through a divorce, there is a lot to keep track of. There are countless documents, forms, agreements, negotiations, and court dates you need to prepare for and participate in. On top of the practical necessities, divorce can be extremely emotional. Even when you are confident in your decision to divorce, it can be a very difficult process, filled with ups and downs and confusing feelings. All in all, divorce is hard. By choosing to be your own best advocate, you can support your position, work through the emotional difficulties, and give your case its best chance of success.
Do your research.
Always prepare yourself for whatever legal obstacle you see coming up ahead. If you have a court date coming up, make sure you know what will be discussed and what documents you need. If you are meeting with your attorney to discuss child custody options, prepare a draft of what you would like to push for. This attentiveness should apply throughout your divorce process. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to understand the legal complexities of certain divorce issues, making the process faster and less stressful. Here’s a great overview of the divorce process in Oregon.
Find the right attorney and ask questions.
If you are ever unclear about anything pertaining to your divorce, spousal support, child custody, property division, or any other issue, always ask for more information. When you work with a lawyer, this is much more easily done. Your lawyer is there to support you, and if you need clarification, he or she should be prepared to offer the explanation or advice you require. If you choose to get divorced without legal representation, you will likely be at a disadvantage for this very reason. Even if you are doing your own research, the practical application of the law and how it not only affects your case now, but also years into the future is something that only an experienced family law attorney can provide. Learn more on choosing the right family law attorney.
Know your own needs.
When it comes to protecting yourself in a divorce and looking out for your own interests, it is important that you know what those interests are. Do you want full custody of your children? Do you want to keep the family home? Do you want spousal support? These are all significant questions that you need to be prepared to answer. Think long and hard about what is most important to you in your divorce and be realistic about which ones you are more willing to let go of. Divorce is a negotiation (as most divorce cases are settled outside of court) and choosing your battles wisely can go a long way in getting you the results you need so you can move on with your life.If you need help with your divorce, our family law attorneys are here to help. Contact McKinley Irvin at our Oregon office to discuss your case with our attorneys.