Reasons To Hire an Experienced Family Law Attorney
There are few areas of law where the day-to-day work of a lawyer has more impact than in a divorce case. Even if you are considering divorce mediation, working with a family law attorney can make a difference in your future.
If you are considering filing for divorce, it may feel overwhelming. Even if you understand the divorce process, there are many decisions to make. How do you agree on a workable child custody and visitation plan? How do you file court paperwork? It can take an emotional toll on you and your entire family.
Hiring an experienced family law attorney is often in your best interest. This article explains the reasons to hire an experienced family law attorney when embarking on a divorce.
Experience Assessing Divorce Options
Several issues must be settled before and during divorce proceedings:
- Division of property, which includes negotiations over equitable distribution of property and determining what is marital property and what is not
- Spousal support or spousal maintenance
- Child custody and child support if there are children in the household
- How to protect the victim during divorce proceedings in cases where domestic violence is an issue
Child custody proceedings address legal issues related to the child's best interest. They also determine the key elements of the custody arrangement, which include:
- Who will make the major decisions in the minor children's lives
- What resources each party has, which will allow them to tend to the children's needs
- Which party possesses the greatest capacities in maintaining a reasonable and healthy standard of living for the children
- Who will have visitation rights (also known as "access")
Experienced family law attorneys can give clients a good idea of the best course of action at the outset of their cases. They have seen issues resolved in negotiation, mediation, and court. They will have a good idea of how best to achieve your goals. All of the above-listed elements can involve a variety of court orders. It's important to check with an attorney about these matters.
As an outsider to your divorce, your attorney can be objective about your case. You may be tempted to go for a quick resolution when emotions run high. Your divorce lawyer knows you will live with this outcome for years. They want to ensure you make the best decision for the long term. For example, your attorney may counsel you to wait for a more fair and equitable division rather than accept a quick settlement agreement on property division.
Paperwork and Red Tape
As with any case that goes to court, divorce involves a lot of paperwork, process, and deadlines. An experienced attorney can work through the maze of paperwork so that you can get on with your life.
Experts and Consultants
When a divorcing couple has wealth, a family business, or extensive property, a family law attorney may bring in experts. This team of experts and consultants could include business valuators, forensic accountants, and Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) experts.
Accessing experts may add to the cost of a divorce, but they tend to work quickly. The information they provide can support arguments on the financial aspects of a divorce trial. They can also ensure a fair and equitable settlement agreement.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
An experienced family law attorney may advise you to try an alternative dispute resolution process. Using mediation or collaborative family law often saves time and money. It can also protect the positive working relationship between the couple. That may be important for parents who will be co-parenting in the future. If you're engaged in a DIY or uncontested divorce, this can be the best way to handle divorce proceedings. This is also true in any other type of collaborative divorce.
In alternative dispute resolution, you and your spouse can meet with a mediator to deal with your divorce if you choose this route. Or you and your spouse's attorneys can meet with a mediator to resolve all the issues that arise in a divorce. The same process can be used in a legal separation, as well. Regardless of which route you choose, you will need to collect all the necessary documents in a divorce. These will include legal documents, including court forms.
Experience Working with Other Lawyers
An experienced family law attorney can deal effectively with opposing counsel. Lawyers speak the same language from the early exchange of information (the "discovery" process), through settlement negotiations, to family court. Trust your attorney to be able to work effectively to resolve differences.
Favorable Settlement Agreements
Family law attorneys work hard to reach the best divorce settlement agreements for their clients as early in the divorce process as possible.
Family Court Experience
An experienced family lawyer can zealously represent you in court if a trial becomes necessary. They may be familiar with all of the family court judges who work in their area and how those judges have ruled on similar issues. This can be useful when advising clients on how the court will view their case.
Hire an Experienced Family Law Attorney for Your Divorce
Legal representation is generally a good idea in a legal proceeding. You don't have to go through the process of divorce alone. Hiring an experienced divorce lawyer can provide peace of mind. You will receive sound legal advice on each step of the divorce process. Expert guidance on divorce law and proceedings can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Start the process by contacting an experienced divorce attorney near you.
Family law cases are almost always stressful. The legal processes of a divorce can be difficult to navigate. Getting help from a family law attorney who can protect your legal rights is important in such legal matters.
Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?
- You may not need an attorney for a simple divorce with uncontested issues
- Legal advice is critical to protect your interests in a contested divorce
- Divorce lawyers can help secure fair custody/visitation, support, and property division
An attorney is a skilled advocate during negotiations and court proceedings. Many attorneys offer free consultations.
Don't Forget About Estate Planning
Divorce is an ideal time to review your beneficiary designations on life insurance, bank accounts, and retirement accounts. You need to change your estate planning forms to reflect any new choices about your personal representative and beneficiaries. You can change your power of attorney if you named your ex-spouse as your agent. Also, change your health care directive to remove them from making your health care decisions.