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Divorce/Separation :
Questions to ask lawyer in a consult

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 12yearsloyal (original poster Member #43064) posted at 4:38 PM on Monday, August 3rd, 2020

Hi Everyone,

Can you give a list of questions to ask in a divorce consult?

I don't have any kids so I don't need to know those questions. I'm more concerned with financial strategy type questions. My WS is self employed so also not sure how I can get a fair amount of alimony, if I can get it in this situation. Married 19 years.

I need suggestions on what to ask, as I want to be as prepared as possible for my 30 minutes.

D day was 6 years ago and my life has not changed much. I somewhat regret not ripping the band-aid off in 2014. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks

Him: WS, 51 EA/PA 2.5 years
D Day 3/10/14 N/C broke (phone/email) 6/14-10/14
Me: BS 52
OW: Banana Republic whore
Status: Fence sitting or D Praying for answers
Betrayal: so painful it should be a crime - 12 months in prison.

posts: 285   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2014   ·   location: State of Distrust
id 8569603
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The1stWife ( Member #58832) posted at 6:46 PM on Monday, August 3rd, 2020

Do you time joint returns that show his income as an LLC? If so you have some idea of his income.

Do you have copies of any IRA or retirement account statements? If so, that will help too.

Ask about life insurance policies - who paid for them and who is the beneficiary? You may be entitled for some reimbursement on them if the payments were from joint funds.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10519   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8569667
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homewrecked2011 ( Member #34678) posted at 6:59 PM on Monday, August 3rd, 2020

I just want to offer support on not leaving in 2014. After I got a D, I became clearheaded, I realized I should have left my xwh years ago, too. Just keep pushing ahead. A peaceful life is within your reach.

On the atty questions, I would ask that there be specific dates your stbxw has to comply with any orders.

Some people on SI have been granted the Life Ins policy of the xs, whereas the BS becomes the beneficiary and makes the payments.

If 1 person is keeping property, make sure everything has to be refinanced within a short amount of time.

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5360   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8569677
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josiep ( Member #58593) posted at 7:38 PM on Monday, August 3rd, 2020

Instead of asking the attorney what you are entitled to, prepare a list of questions more like this:

1. We own a lake home. I want it. How do I get it?

2. We own 3 vehicles, all in his name. I want the newest and best one. How do I get it?

And so on.

Then be sure to ask about insurance policies and having you named as the beneficiary and him not being able to change it.

If he has a retirement plan set up, ask the lawyer how you get half.

If he has IRA's, ask how you get half.

Do that for everything you own - ask for at least half, or even more.

Do you also work? Do you help with his "self-employment"? If he has a business, should he have to buy you out of it?

Because, the main thing you want to know at your first appointment is whether your attorney is going to fight for you and make sure you get everything you're entitled to. And if s/he starts giving vague answers or being wishy-washy, thank him/her for their time and leave. More than anything else right now, you want someone who will be 100% on your side and who will be dedicated to justice and fairness. Unfortunately, there are way too many divorce attorneys just going through the motions, patting their clients on the head and collecting the money.

[This message edited by josiep at 10:29 AM, August 7th (Friday)]

BW, 70 YO; M 45 yrs., T 49 yrs.
DDay#1, 1982; DDay#2, May, 2017. Divorced.

posts: 3062   ·   registered: May. 5th, 2017
id 8569696
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 12yearsloyal (original poster Member #43064) posted at 10:41 PM on Monday, August 3rd, 2020

Thank you for the good suggestions so far. Right now we don't even own any property, sold 2 and have the money in the bank. We don't have any insurance policies either.

We did get some inheritance from my family and I wonder if I can get all of that back or make a claim on his future inheritance. Not sure if that has ever happened. It's not fair really that some of my family money is now "joint" money.

Him: WS, 51 EA/PA 2.5 years
D Day 3/10/14 N/C broke (phone/email) 6/14-10/14
Me: BS 52
OW: Banana Republic whore
Status: Fence sitting or D Praying for answers
Betrayal: so painful it should be a crime - 12 months in prison.

posts: 285   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2014   ·   location: State of Distrust
id 8569771
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WheresMyBlanket ( New Member #62819) posted at 3:43 AM on Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

You do need to make sure that the lawyer is a good one. It will be terrible to miss opportunities to get something you deserve as provided by the law because of a lawyer’s mistake. Ask for references and get in touch with them if you can. Do not be shy, you are paying for it. As for the inheritance, you might need to add a reputable accountant to your team. Your lawyer might not know everything. This will insure that each one will cover the other’s gaps. After all the things that happened to your marriage, you do not want the pain of a lawyer letting you down on top of that. I hope that things work out for you.

posts: 18   ·   registered: Feb. 23rd, 2018
id 8569877
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Phoenix1 ( Moderator #38928) posted at 6:34 AM on Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

Inheritance laws vary by state, so ask how it is handled in your state. In my state, Inheritance is excluded from division IF it was not used "to benefit the marriage." We used some of Xhole's inheritance for a house down payment. Thus, it benefited the marriage and was fair game for division. So, definitely ask.

Do you have pets? Typically treated as property so ask if you do.

Ask if your state is a community property or equitable distribution. Then ask him/her to explain what that means for you.

Ask what the alimony law is for your state (aka spousal support).

Ask how the courts generally lean in your area.

Ask how long the process takes and if courts are backed up due to the pandemic.

Ask how much it typically costs.

Bring statements for retirement accounts, bank accounts, investments, pensions, and a list of any other assets and debts. This will give him/her a basic understanding of your situation and what a D would include.

That's what comes to mind right now.

fBS - Me
Xhole - Multiple LTAs/2 OCs over 20+yrs
Adult Kids
Happily divorced!

You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. ~C.S. Lewis~

posts: 8992   ·   registered: Apr. 9th, 2013   ·   location: Land of Indifference
id 8569921
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Anna123 ( Member #70908) posted at 2:05 PM on Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

Even if the inheritance was co-mingled, don't the lawyer or your STBX forget that in your mind it is yours on principle. Sure they will say the law doesn't support that, but it is a better starting point for you, even if it gets whittled down to half legally. I like the idea of you getting the same amount from his inheritance later, that is the creative stuff that can be added if you can't get it up front (which would be much better).

I think you already have this but don't forget to copy any little piece of proof of income you can grab. Not just check stubs or bank statements. Things like receipts for expensive items that the money was used for, even photos.

Just proof that that income came in if it doesn't show on his taxes.

Good luck and hang in there.

posts: 620   ·   registered: Jul. 1st, 2019   ·   location: USA
id 8569993
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 12yearsloyal (original poster Member #43064) posted at 2:07 PM on Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

I'm pretty sure I'm in a community property state. My inheritance just went into our joint bank account back in 2011. His elderly dad is sitting on a pile of money, maybe I wait for that to happen. LOL

I know he spent money on the whore fixing her house, etc. This is the kind of stuff that should be taken into consideration. Now I look at my situation as "business" and not a marriage. I don't want to be poor. It's not fair, I've worked so hard and do work in the business we have but we are paid in chunks from it, not like we draw a salary for ourselves weekly. The good news is we have no debt. Still I don't think it would be fair to take our main bank account and split it in half. I am the saver in the relationship. I've taken plenty for the team.

Him: WS, 51 EA/PA 2.5 years
D Day 3/10/14 N/C broke (phone/email) 6/14-10/14
Me: BS 52
OW: Banana Republic whore
Status: Fence sitting or D Praying for answers
Betrayal: so painful it should be a crime - 12 months in prison.

posts: 285   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2014   ·   location: State of Distrust
id 8569997
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 12yearsloyal (original poster Member #43064) posted at 2:11 PM on Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

We file jointly and I pay all the bills, so I pretty much see what comes in and goes out. Right now with covid we are waiting on some contracts to start so we don't really have much activity going on.

Him: WS, 51 EA/PA 2.5 years
D Day 3/10/14 N/C broke (phone/email) 6/14-10/14
Me: BS 52
OW: Banana Republic whore
Status: Fence sitting or D Praying for answers
Betrayal: so painful it should be a crime - 12 months in prison.

posts: 285   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2014   ·   location: State of Distrust
id 8569999
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ThisIsSoLonely ( Member #64418) posted at 7:19 PM on Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

In addition to the inheritance questions (generally considered separate property but again, not always so ask about that) and have as much information as you can about what has been done with it...and in addition to what everyone else has said, I would ask:

What can I do NOW to stop any future spending on my WS's part. Can we do a separation agreement that separates liabilities and assets now? What can I take out of her name and how will that change things? Find out what you can and can't do NOW while the divorce is not final to stop any bleeding of assets.

FYI States with community property are Louisiana, Arizona, California, Texas, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin...but there are a bunch of other "modified community property" states which are very similar.

“Sometimes you're going to have to let one person go a thousand different times, a thousand different ways, and there’s nothing pathetic or abnormal about that. You are human.” - Heidi Priebe

posts: 1816   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8570163
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Phoenix1 ( Moderator #38928) posted at 7:45 PM on Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

I don't think it would be fair to take our main bank account and split it in half. I am the saver in the relationship. I've taken plenty for the team.

I get it. I really, really get it. I was the saver and Xhole was the spender. Found out during the D that he had racked up tens of thousands in credit card debt behind my back. Guess what? Yep, it was marital debt (incurred during the marriage regardless of how it was incurred). I got hit, and hit hard, in the D. No, it was not fair. I was always the adult and played by the rules. Xhole just squandered every dime he got a hold of.

I am saying this as a gentle warning. A lot of things happen in a D that are not fair. That being said, getting that serial cheating financial disaster out of my life was priceless, and well worth it! We were together almost 30 years.

Talk to an attorney (or three). See the most reputable you can find. Every attorney you formally consult with is one less your WH can use (conflict of interest). Fight for everything you are legally entitled to. Don't be afraid to think outside the box and get creative with trade-offs to get what you really want (but be realistic about a judge agreeing to it).

fBS - Me
Xhole - Multiple LTAs/2 OCs over 20+yrs
Adult Kids
Happily divorced!

You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. ~C.S. Lewis~

posts: 8992   ·   registered: Apr. 9th, 2013   ·   location: Land of Indifference
id 8570173
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 12yearsloyal (original poster Member #43064) posted at 1:45 PM on Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

Thanks everyone for the good advice. I even monitor credit reports, so I don't think anything can get past me now. Any remaining money that comes from my family will be going into my own separate account. I don't have a pension, and he will have a very small one, nothing of significance. I'm certainly going to ask for everything I can get. This affair took years off my life I'm sure from the stress alone. Now I can look at it without as much emotion. It's all about me being financially ok.

Him: WS, 51 EA/PA 2.5 years
D Day 3/10/14 N/C broke (phone/email) 6/14-10/14
Me: BS 52
OW: Banana Republic whore
Status: Fence sitting or D Praying for answers
Betrayal: so painful it should be a crime - 12 months in prison.

posts: 285   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2014   ·   location: State of Distrust
id 8570514
Topic is Sleeping.
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