If you're thinking about a divorce, you may want to seek the legal advice of a divorce lawyer. A good divorce attorney can help educate you on the divorce laws in your state and help minimize the lengthy court process and emotional stress often associated with divorce proceedings. Divorce can be even more stressful when deciding on child custody or if the former spouses can't agree on anything. It may be in your best interests to hire a divorce lawyer.
Why You May Need a Divorce Lawyer
Divorce is a complicated process. Not only does it impact you emotionally and financially but it may also impact your children, family, and friends. If you're thinking about filing for a divorce, or if your spouse has initiated divorce proceedings, you may need an experienced divorce lawyer to help you navigate this difficult time while protecting your assets and legal rights.
An experienced divorce attorney will evaluate your specific case and advise you at every stage of the divorce process, all with the goal of ensuring that the outcome of your divorce is as favorable as possible to you and your family.
Hiring a good divorce attorney with experience, objectivity, and specialized knowledge to represent you during the divorce proceedings is a good idea. While some divorces may be handled on your own, other more complicated divorces warrant the legal advice of a qualified divorce attorney or someone who knows the intricacies of the divorce process. You may have questions concerning your eligibility for divorce, where to file, divorce fees/costs, and setting up a parenting plan if you have kids, for instance.
Moreover, because divorce often includes matters involving kids and finances, you may need a divorce lawyer with specialized experience in child custody, child support, and visitation issues as well.
What to Look For When You Hire a Divorce Lawyer
Divorce lawyers handle a variety of divorce issues, including settlement agreements, child custody/child visitation, division of property and finances, and spousal support. When looking for a divorce lawyer, you should concentrate on the lawyer's expertise, skill level, commitment, and location or area served.
Because divorce proceedings require divulging many aspects of your personal life and financial assets, you should feel comfortable speaking freely in your lawyer's presence, and feel confident in the lawyer's ability to handle your case. Your divorce lawyer should also have experience handling child support cases (if kids are involved) and/or division of property issues (if applicable).
It is also important to know the attorney's style and divorce philosophy, such as whether combative or cooperative, and whether the attorney offers divorce alternatives, such as mediation or other out-of-court proceedings. Not all divorces have to end in an ugly court battle, and an attorney's philosophy may make the difference in the long-term outcome of your relationship with your ex-spouse.
Lastly, because state laws vary, it's important that the attorney have experience handling divorces in the state of your marriage.
Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer
Before you hire a divorce lawyer, you should feel comfortable enough to speak with them concerning all aspects of your family's situation. Below are some of the questions you should ask before hiring a divorce attorney:
- What's involved in the divorce process and how long does it typically last?
- What percentage of your practice is devoted to divorce cases? How many divorce cases have you tried?
- What is your experience handling child custody/visitation cases and/or working with high net worth individuals?
- How much of my divorce case will you actually handle?
- What is your philosophy on divorce? Do you offer mediation or other alternative out-of-court dispute resolution?
- Can you give me an estimate of how much my divorce will cost?
Divorce Attorney Fees
The cost of hiring a divorce lawyer will vary and depends on a number of factors.
Not all divorce attorneys are the same, and a good divorce attorney may cost more than an average divorce lawyer. Second, not all divorce cases are the same. Some cases may be resolved with minimum paperwork and in a short period of time, while others will involve repeated court appearances, endless court filings, and repeated negotiations. Additionally, divorce attorney fees can vary by location, so a Los Angeles divorce attorney may cost more than a divorce attorney in rural Tennessee.
In all cases, it is wise to consult with a variety of divorce attorneys in your area to find one you feel comfortable with in representing you and get a sense of the cost involved in representing your case.
Get Professional Help: Hire a Divorce Attorney
Divorce is never an easy decision to make, but sometimes it's necessary. There's a lot to do in order to get a divorce, and various procedural rules to follow. For this reason, it's a good idea to hire an experienced divorce attorney who will be familiar with the divorce process and can advocate on your behalf, both in and out of the courtroom.