Divorce Q&A, Part I with Jill Bicks
A retainer is an advance against legal fees and there is nothing standard and it depends on what issues you have. Anything left gets returned to you. This is one of the biggest frustrations. You can burn through a lot of money very quickly. Attorney fees are typically paid out of the marital estate, but what if the estate has no money? And how do you control what your spouse spends? Take the time to strategize so that your ex doesn’t say, “I’d rather pay the lawyer than you!”
Depending on your State, there are likely NOT abandonment issues. In CT, if you move out of the house to reduce tension with the kids, that can be perceived as a good thing.
Automatic Orders start once you file. They cover finances, home and children and they are all about keeping the status quo. They prevent you from taking the kids and moving out of state, or liquidating a business. Nothing major can change during this period.
Debt is tricky. If one spouse can’t pay it, the responsibility falls on you. If your ex runs out of money, you have to go after him or her. You know your spouse better than any lawyer so strategize how to manage him/her.
What about timing? How long does a divorce take? It totally depends on how complicated assets are, how old children are, if you both on the same page or in emotionally different places. You’ll want to get to that finish line, but most people regret rushing through this. Your best bet is to engage a therapist so you keep yourself from negotiating a bad deal just because you are hurting. Renegotiating after the divorce is settled can be messier than just doing it right the first time.
What is Nesting? Nesting is leaving the kids in the home and parents flip back and forth. We both made this decision, but did it without an exit strategy. As a short-term solution it can stabilize home life for the kids, but long term you need to close this out and move on with your life for your sake and the kids.