You need professional advice from the first beginning
As we have explained in our page on Amicable Divorce, generally there are two types of divorces. The ones where the parties are in agreement and the ones where it is clear that you are not (a non-amicable divorce).
If you think that your divorce is going to be non-amicable or a fighting divorce, you need a lawyer from the first beginning. Why? Because it is important that you have a long-term strategy. If you do not have professional advice straight away and a strategy, you could make some big mistakes.
For instance, if you move out from living with your spouse and/or children and abandon the property. Then you could lose your right to use the house (not the ownership) until the divorce proceeding finishes. Many people do not realise this, so do ask a lawyer before taking the wrong steps.
Having children often complicates matters, as you know, and it is no different with a divorce. If you have minors, and you are fighting for custody, you need to act quickly. Because otherwise facts could work against you. You need to know how a Judge will view matters to do with children and what you can expect. For instance, if you do not see your children in months, then you cannot expect to be granted joint custody. So you need to have a plan and design a strategy with a lawyer to achieve what you want.
Another reason for early professional advice is that to obtain joint custody, a report by pyschologists is almost always required. Again, early good advice is important.
Children always come first, especially in a Judge’s view, however assets and how to divide them is also an important part of the divorce proceeding. More so if there are no minors. There are rights between spouses that maybe clients are not aware of and they need a divorce litigation lawyer to inform them. For example; if the house is only in one spouse’s name and the mortgage has been paid with joint funds, then the other spouse could claim compensation.
As with an amicable divorce, jursdiction is decided by the last place where the children (or if no children, the spouses) were domiciled (usually). Again, this could require professional advice on the situation.
Generally, yes if your spouse has engaged a professional, then you are probably immediately in a weaker position if you try to negotiate with a divorce litigation lawyer yourself.
However, and this is important, if you receive professional early advice on a divorce situation, it could change a fighting divorce into an amicable divorce. And even with a fighting divorce, we have had at times the other spouse decide to use us as well feeling matters were being dealt with professionally and smoothly.
Do not think that costs of a non amicable or fighting divorce are going to rise into tens of thousands, for example, as in the UK. Generally divorces are very inexpensive in Spain, particularly if amicable between the parties.
If you are experiencing marital problems or know someone who is or require an estimate for costs, please let us know and we will discuss the best way forward.