Rules for divorce are different in every country, but they can also vary slightly even in different states. That’s why it can be helpful to consult a divorce lawyer long before you’ve even made the decision to end the marriage. Knowing the local laws and customs can help you as you work through what issues are plaguing your relationship. For instance, child custody laws and norms are practiced differently, and the division of property is usually determined by state law. These rules greatly affect the outcome of divorce, and should not be taken lightly when thinking through the options.