It’s normal to feel nervous before you hire a divorce attorney. It’s never easy to discuss personal matters with a stranger, especially when it’s about your marriage. No matter how uncomfortable the idea of discussing details of your marriage with a divorce attorney can be, you must share certain details about your marriage so your attorney can better assist you in the divorce process.
While there may be similarities, it is important to know that each divorce case is different. Some cases only involve property and assets, while others involve child support, spousal maintenance, or custody issues. Others may involve all of the above. While it may feel embarrassing to share personal aspects of your marriage, your attorney must be aware of certain things to prepare your divorce case.
What type of information should you share with your divorce lawyer? Keep reading as we share 6 things your divorce attorney needs to know so you can get the most out of your client-attorney relationship and your divorce case.
1. Whether or Not You Have a Prenup
Prenuptial agreements exist to determine how property and assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. Because a prenup is a legal agreement between you and your soon-to-be former spouse, your divorce attorney needs to be aware that you have one. Your divorce attorney will be able to help you navigate the terms and stipulations of your prenup.
2. You Share Children with Your Spouse
Your divorce attorney must know that you share children with your spouse. While they don’t need to know every detail of your children’s lives, child support and custody are two major issues in any family law matter that involves children.
Your divorce attorney can help you understand the ins and outs of child support and custody. They can also help you with understanding the difference between joint legal custody and joint physical custody, as well as other custody options. You must be open and honest with your attorney about your involvement with your children and your relationship with them. For example, if you don’t see your children often or if you have a strained relationship, it’s important to share these details with your attorney.
3. You Own Property/Share Debt with Your Spouse
Even if there is minimal property, every divorce involves the division of marital property and the division of debts, so you must share all information about your assets and liabilities. This includes, but is not limited to, property you own and the debt you share with your spouse, but also assets and debts that existed prior to the marriage. Both Missouri and Kansas determine how assets are divided based on equitable distribution, but your attorney will still need to know if there are any specific properties or assets you would like to keep.
4. There is a History of Domestic Abuse
Before we explain why your attorney should be aware of a history of domestic abuse, we want to mention the severity of physical/emotional abuse and how important it is to seek help. There are many resources for victims of domestic abuse from hotlines to shelters that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Not only does domestic abuse affect those involved, but it has a major impact on how child custody will be determined by a judge. Kansas is a hybrid state and Missouri is a modified no-fault state when it comes to misconduct, so this type of misconduct could impact property division and child custody depending on the extent of the misconduct.
5. You or Your Spouse Have Been Financially Dishonest
Being financially dishonest in a divorce case falls under misconduct, specifically economic misconduct. Whether one spouse is deceitful to the other or gambles a large sum of money, your divorce attorney should be aware of the misconduct that took place. As previously mentioned, misconduct can impact certain aspects of your divorce case.
6. You’ve Shared Negative Things about Your Spouse on Social Media
We understand how important social media is in today’s society, but you must refrain from sharing personal things about your spouse on social media when you’re going through a divorce.
Whether you and your spouse are choosing to remain friends or if you just can’t get along anymore, it’s best to keep your frustrations and opinions about them offline. We understand it can be a nuisance to deal with a difficult spouse, especially during such a rocky time in your relationship, but please refrain from posting about your last negative interaction on Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media platform. If you did hit publish on a few negative posts, make sure your attorney is aware of it just in case it comes up in court.
If you’re in the process of hiring a divorce attorney in Kansas City, please be open and honest with them by sharing the 6 things above. By sharing these details about your marriage, your attorney will be able to assist you better throughout the divorce process.
If you’re going through the divorce process and are looking for a family law attorney in Lee’s Summit or a divorce attorney in Kansas City, contact The Law Office of Young, Kuhl & Frick, LLC. With over fifty-three years of combined legal experience, our family law firm is comprised of a team that’s skilled in both negotiation and litigation, handling family law matters from the most complex to the most straightforward.
We have offices in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and Leawood, Kansas (consultations by appointment only). In addition to our two physical locations, our firm’s family and divorce attorneys have practiced in Jackson, Clay, Cass, Lafayette, and Platte County, Missouri as well as Johnson County, Kansas.