What is the first step to take in getting a divorce?



Your marriage might have been on the rocks for the past few months or years. After giving your best efforts to save it, you may have finally decided that you are ready to file for divorce. Getting a divorce can be complicated, though, and it comes with many steps that are too difficult to take alone. To make matters easier, the first step you must take during the process is enlisting the help of an attorney.

The importance of having an attorney

Representing yourself in your divorce may seem tempting, especially since it could help you save money. Yet, even if you and your spouse agree on all the terms of your divorce, moving forward without counsel is risky. This is because an attorney will have a familiarity with divorce laws that you may lack. Their understanding of Tennessee’s statutes – as well as of your unique circumstances – will help them take an objective approach to your case. If you are at risk of an unfavorable outcome at any point during it, they can also help you negotiate terms that are more appropriate for your situation. 

An attorney will also make sure you fill out the right documents during divorce proceedings. You will encounter numerous forms as you go through your divorce and making a mistake on any of these could have repercussions in its aftermath. With your attorney’s guidance, it is less likely you will make errors on – or miss – an important document, or file it too late.

Furthermore, your attorney could catch details during your divorce that you may miss. If your spouse, for instance, managed your household’s assets, your attorney can request financial documents from them. With their help, you may discover hidden assets, or assets worth more than you thought they were. By uncovering these details, your attorney can improve your odds of receiving a fair share of marital property and, if you are eligible, appropriate alimony and child support awards. 

Choosing the right attorney

When choosing an attorney, you will want to make sure you pick one who not only has a track record for results, but who will listen to you and stand up for you. Having an attorney who understands and empathizes with you will make proceedings far easier to navigate. And having one who is willing to fight for you will make it more likely that your marital dissolution agreement reflects your needs.