Ask A Lawyer: Should I Retain An Attorney Now Or Wait?

Question:

My wife and I have been together for 15 years and we have two children. We have been dealing with and trying to get through some issues for about 2 years now.

 

Our oldest is 13 and he has been a hand full to deal with. For the longest time, I have been fighting with him and it has brought a lot of tension between all of us. His grades have started to go down hill and we had to make some changes. Because of all the problems, the DFAC has gotten involved and our son is expressing a lot of anger toward us. The DFAC has forced us to separate even though we love each other very much. My wife has moved away with my children enrolled them in another county school system.  They have established living arrangements with another family member.

 

 

Now that it has been 2 months in this current situation, our son feels a lot of remorse and wants to fix everything so he can come back, but my wife feels otherwise. She is telling me that she is scared and confused but know’s that a divorce is probably a big mistake. She says she has already sought council and has put everything on hold for now becuase she does not want to hurt our children.

 

What do I do? Should I retain an attorney in case she decides to go forward so I can be prepared or do I wait until I am served with divorce papers? I am 41yrs old, confused and scared. What kind of advice would you suggest?

 

Answer:

 

Yes, you should consult an attorney.  If she has not filed yet, you may decide that it’s best for you to go ahead and do so. In many jurisdictions there is an advantage to being the first to file.  Even if there’s not a legal advantage in your jurisdiction, there is a strategic advantage with the divorce being your case.  Ultimately, after consulting with an attorney and listening to the different possibilities, you’ll have to decide whether you want to file to protect yourself and your interests or if you want to wait to see whether your wife files.

 

Claudia J. Weaver is an Associate Attorney with Cordell & Cordell, P.C., in Overland Park, Kansas. Ms. Weaver practices exclusively in the area of domestic relations.

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