Once a marriage is showing signs of instability, some may feel that exploring their options is a last resort. However, if one desires an equitable share of the marital assets, consulting with a family lawyer is a prudent step. Florida residents who are concerned about how the property division will affect their future security benefit from seeking guidance sooner rather than later.

Some may feel that consulting with an attorney is akin to giving up on the relationship too soon. However, choosing to get information early can only help in the end, especially once the petition to divorce has been filed. If a couple has children or significant assets, then waiting until the other spouse has contacted a lawyer may be counterproductive. Furthermore, it is recommended that the other partner is not informed about a consultation ahead of time unless the couple has already decided that a mediation approach is the best fit for their situation.

It is also not recommended that parents enter into an informal agreement over child custody or support. Doing so may make it more difficult to change the terms once the divorce process has started. Since the process of filing for a divorce can be costly, it is helpful to have an idea of the fee schedule and what the terms of a contract for services will include, which is another reason to contact an attorney early.

Lastly, seeking a consultation with an experienced attorney early does not mean that the marriage is over. In fact, having a clear picture of what one’s rights may bring enough peace of mind to allow a spouse time to analyze whether a relationship may be repaired. In the end, if Florida residents do decide that a divorce is the appropriate solution, the time spent on early planning may ease stress, which may lead to less contentious property division negotiations for all of the parties involved.