Divorce is usually associated with heavy baggage and a lot of bad feelings. It can make people feel like outcasts or disappointments to society, which in turn can cause people to want to hide a divorce. However, being dishonest or simply avoiding divorce will not make it go away, and will complicate the matter. So the very first step is to talk to your spouse. Do you want a divorce? Do you think your spouse wants a divorce? Do you want to seek therapy to discuss the possibilities of divorce? Has there been a major life event that has caused a rift in the relationship so that divorce is now a possibility? Ask each other the hard questions and listen to the truthful answers.
Divorce can take a matter of months to complete, or much longer, depending on the circumstances. If you and your spouse can work out an amicable agreement on your own, you can file what’s known as an uncontested divorce. This will save you both time and money in court costs. If this is simply not possible, you may want to hire a professional mediator or an attorney.
Perhaps you both want to speak to a divorce attorney, whether to get an idea of what divorce entails, or to actually proceed. Either way, if you both agree on the meeting, then go for it! Each of you will need to seek out your own attorneys to best represent your interests in divorce. Many experienced divorce attorneys in the Los Angeles area will provide a free first time consultation.
But if you don’t both agree on seeking a divorce attorney’s advice, you may still want to seek one. If you or your dependents are being abused, you will want a divorce attorney who can arrange for the necessary protections and an expedited and confidential process. It can also make sense to hire a lawyer if you strongly suspect or have knowledge that your spouse is being dishonest or vindictive. In that case, you will need someone to protect your interests.
If you can’t afford a lawyer, consider calling your local legal aid office and asking whether they have a pro bono program. The office may have a list of private attorneys who are willing to take on cases referred by legal aid at little or no cost.
You may also want to consider mediators to help with divorce proceedings. As helpful as experienced divorce attorneys are to the divorce process, mediators may be able to help you and your spouse get over the emotional barriers to negotiation and come to a sensible divorce agreement that meets both of your needs. Unlike lawyers, mediators work with both spouses at the same time.
If you are seeking an experienced divorce attorney in the Los Angeles area, contact Gastelum Law today!