Hillsborough County

11256 Boyette Rd, Riverview, FL 33569

Pasco County

2236 Ashley Oaks Circle, Ste. 102 Wesley Chapel, FL 33544

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You Have Reached the Family Law Offices of Summerfield Law, Riverview & Wesley Chapel, FL

Your Ultimate Divorce Worksheet – Making It Legal

Legal Divorce Representation

Your Ultimate Divorce Worksheet – Making It Legal

Divorce is an emotionally and financially draining process, so it’s crucial to research attorneys well before beginning the proceedings. Finding the right lawyer for your divorce can mean the difference between a successful and unsuccessful outcome. The success of your divorce proceedings depends largely on how much effort you put into researching lawyers and finding one that fits your needs. An educated decision that takes into account all factors involved will improve your chances of getting the best possible results from your divorce.  

If you got here first and skipped the first installments, here’s where you can find them. You really should start at the beginning to get the most out of this Divorce Worksheet.

  1. First Steps
  2. Getting Practical
  3. Redefining Yourself


19. Recognize The Worth Of A Divorce Lawyer

divorce lawyer

No state requires you to hire a divorce lawyer, but it makes sense to safeguard your rights and interests. Neither you nor your spouse are likely to be divorce attorneys, and when it comes to the various legal aspects of a divorce, you don’t know what you don’t know.

This is not the time to be cheap with your life or to believe what your partner tells you. While engaging an attorney will cost you money, it may save you money and stress in the long run.

20. Find A Local Divorce Attorney & Book A Consultation To Learn About Your Rights.

This discussion will teach you what you are entitled to and what the law says about your specific situations and questions. Do not put your trust in what your partner says. Do not put your trust in what your neighbor says. Do not rely on what your Facebook group’s members say. Also, be wary if your spouse encourages you not to see a lawyer or that you and they can “handle this on your own.”

Speak with a divorce attorney, often known as family law or matrimonial attorney. Many provide free consultations, so do your homework to save money. You deserve it.

Legal directories such as and Martindale-Hubbell might help you find a lawyer.

21. Gather Three Years Of Tax Returns And Organize And Prioritize Your Legal Issues About The Divorce Before The Meeting.

3 years tax returns

The primary goal of your initial visit with a lawyer is to acquire answers to your questions and to learn more about the type of divorce you may be facing. For example, you’ll want to know your state’s divorce laws about how you and your spouse will split assets and debt. You will also need to understand how your children’s custody will be established (if you have them). Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about your concerns.

22. We Also Urge You To Consult With A Lawyer.

Ask the lawyer to explain alimony or spousal support to you. Then, if applicable to your situation, your best and worst-case possibilities for receiving this assistance (especially if you’ve been out of the job).

If you have specific circumstances that prevent you from working, such as your health or caring for a young or special needs child, discuss “temporary spousal support” and how it works. You may require access to money while the divorce is underway, and if your spouse is unwilling to grant it, the court may have to order your spouse to provide temporary spousal support.

Can you leave the marital home with the children, or must you ask them to leave once the divorce is finalized? What are the most crucial things to understand so that your actions are not used against you in the divorce?

If you are initiating the divorce, consult with a lawyer about locating a place to live BEFORE filing. For example, how are you going to pay for a place? What must you do to reduce your time living together as a couple?

23. Bring The Following Items To Your Meeting With The Attorney So That You May Get Detailed Answers To Your Questions And Concerns:

1) Your legal concerns,

2) three years of tax returns

3) a description of your assets and liabilities.

4) You may also bring a friend or family member for support, but please notify the lawyer in advance to discuss confidentiality.

During the appointment with the lawyer, accept that you might only get answers to your most critical queries (this is why you prioritized them). Don’t be disheartened if all your questions aren’t answered in the first free visit.  Be prepared to leave with more questions than you came with.  It means that your attorney is being thorough.

24. Evaluate The Lawyer After Meeting With Them Or Her.

Was there someone who made you feel heard and safe? Could you collaborate with them? Take notes on your impressions and what you learned.

If your money allows, try to meet with three lawyers. Each lawyer will view your issue differently, and the more you discuss, the more you’ll discover your options and how you want to go.  If you have a preference, thanks to a referral, or what you learned about their website, visit them last.  Your previous experience will either confirm your initial “gut feel” or won’t.

25. Learn About The Various Types Of Divorce.

Consider whether DIY, formal litigation, mediation, or a collaborative approach suits your narrative. Is it conceivable that you can settle things without going to court? (You should comprehend the distinction between an uncontested and contentious divorce.) Will your spouse agree? Determine the kind of divorce you want to pursue and whether any lawyers you talked with can assist you.

26. Remember That Your Attorney Represents You, Not Your Spouse.

Your lawyer will assist you with your Statement of Net Worth, examine your Marital Separation Agreement (MSA), and represent you in the divorce.  You should hire your attorney, unless you plan on a collaborative divorce. Regardless of what your spouse claims, you and your spouse should not share a lawyer. Attorneys for divorce, except in unique circumstances, cannot represent both spouses because it is a conflict of interest.

27. Inform Your Lawyer If You Intend To Change Your Name (Back To Your Maiden Name Or Something Else?) Following The Divorce.

This will not be done officially until the divorce is finalized (see #51), but it is beneficial if the lawyer is aware of your intentions.

28. Connect With A Divorce Coach Who Does This Type Of Work Regularly If You Need Perspective On Choosing A Lawyer Or The Correct Legal Process, What To Ask, And What To Do Next.

An added benefit is that most divorce coaches provide free sessions because they need to demonstrate what they do and how they can assist. Locate one.

With the help of a divorce coach, you can maneuver through the divorce process twith increased confidence, clarity and purpose. A divorce coach works as a mentor to provide guidance on the legal, financial and emotional issues that accompany divorce. They are trained to help couples navigate the complex landscape of ending their marriage while building bridges to co-parenting with minimized conflict.


In conclusion,it is important to do research and be prepared when you are planning a divorce. An attorney can help with the process of the divorce and make sure that you understand what is happening throughout the process. Be sure to ask questions, even if you don’t understand something. It is essential to find someone who is a good fit for your situation and has your best interests in mind. Having an attorney on your side during this time can make a huge difference in how smoothly your divorce proceedings go.



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