Originally Posted by ItsAllGood
Thank you so much for your post.
No I do not have employment. So in checking around a CFP told me about this new process and I was wondering about it.
I feel like stbx is driving this whole process since last fall (I was getting signs then). I was a mess then but are now thinking more logically. I could possibly see him not wanting to use attorneys but wonder if that is in my best interest as I am totally at a lost. I interviewed a few attorneys and I could see how fees could add up.
We have a child, assets etc. I think stbx wants to just offer me a monthly amount, he has been very secretive, removing his belongings etc, moved gave me no address yet, comes back to get more of his stuff. Due to the business and school I have not been able to get involved in the process and then he made the final big D announcement recently. So I don't think it will be contested, but I am concerned that I may not get what is "due"...so want to consider what is the best route to ensure that. (18years married).
Ok...given the extra info that you do actually have assets and a business to divy up, and a long marriage...and he's acting secretive...you need a lawyer of your very own. But...the good news is that since you aren't employed after such a long marriage, you may very well be able to get him to pay your legal fees. When there are serious assets involved, legal aid wouldn't be the route I'd go. I am not a grabby-get-him-for-all-he's-got type. But I do firmly believe that he owes a spouse of almost 2 decades a fair share of the assets and by extension his children. If you're talking about dividing a business and more assets than a bank account and a house, I'd get an experienced lawyer! Some will do sliding fees based on income, but when you're interviewing, ask about having him pay your legal fees.
You need someone that can navigate the system and advocate for you.
My previous advice was based on more of the usual situation where there's not much left over to divide. You know better what's on the table and your comfort level. You need to look at the value of your property, retirement funds, pensions, investments, ownership in a business. That makes things much more complicated than your average supervised law student should probably be working on!!! Good luck!!