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Knowing when to contact a divorce attorney

A great many spouses who eventually end their marriages spend an enormous amount of time considering that possibility prior to taking any action. Some are uncertain at which point they should contact a divorce attorney, and waver in making this critical decision. It is important to understand that when it comes to matters of Missouri divorce, including property division and child custody, taking a proactive approach is the best possible course of action.

For example, one of the first steps in any divorce case involves gathering a significant volume of documentation on family financial matters. It is not uncommon for a spouse who is angry or bitter at the news of a divorce to intentionally block his or her partner's ability to access that information. That can prolong the divorce process, and can drive up the costs for everyone involved. By working with an attorney prior to filing for divorce, a great deal of these paperwork matters can be handled in advance.

Another reason to contact a divorce attorney while considering filing for divorce is to get a jump on matters of jurisdiction and strategy. In most cases, the spouse who files first is able to set the jurisdiction in which the case will be heard. This is important for couples who have homes in multiple areas or who reside in a different state for a portion of each year.

For those in Missouri who feel that contacting a divorce attorney is some sort of violation of trust, it is important to note that not everyone who seeks out the advice of an attorney will eventually move forward with divorce. This is nothing more than the information gathering stage. It is also a chance for a spouse to ask questions and learn more about the divorce process and whether this step is the right choice for their particular set of circumstances.

Source:, "When's the best time to contact a divorce attorney?", Kimberly Powell, March 17, 2017

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