Getting a divorce is an emotional rollercoaster – you do not how you should feel whether to be upset, relieved, pained, stressed out, or happy. It is both an easy yet hard decision to make. Easy because you both know that you would not be able to continue with the marriage anymore and live a peaceful life together, but it is hard because you would have to decide who gets what, who lives in your family home, who gets to take care of the children, when will the other spouse be allowed to see the children, and so much factors to consider. You are getting a divorce because you and your spouse could not get along very well anymore. Do not make it worse by going through a messy divorce wherein you would not be able to reach a compromise and just continue to get upset and annoyed with each other. Divorce does not have to be messy, it could be very civilized with a compromise to work out with in the end. You could have a non-messy divorce if you opt to go with divorce mediation services that would help you in every step of the way during this stressful time in your life.
Both Sides will be Heard
With mediation, both you and your spouse would be able to air out your concerns and perspectives with regards to the divorce. A mediator will be present throughout the sessions to listen to both spouses so that each side would be properly accounted for. Unlike with having separate divorce lawyers wherein each would only represent the benefit of their client, mediators have the benefit of the common good in mind. Meaning to say, not only will the mediator attempt at a compromise that is best for each of the spouses, but more importantly, the compromise should involve the benefit of the children involved in the divorce as well. In most divorce cases with separate lawyers for each spouse, one gets better benefits out of the divorce compared to the other. With mediation, you would be able to have more or less equal benefits. This is especially good if you are going through a civilized divorce without any ill feelings toward each other.
Having separate divorce lawyers mean having to take into consideration four different schedules to match in order for each spouse to set a meeting with each of their lawyers present. As a couple going through a divorce, of course you would want to expedite the process immediately so that you could both go on your separate ways already. With divorce mediation, it would be a lot faster to reach settlements and agreements, because you and your spouse could set-up the meetings with your mediator in advance. Unlike with other divorce lawyers who still has different clients to meet with as well and could not give you 100% of their time most of the time, the process of divorce could take a longer time.
Peaceful and Confidential Settlements
Mediators prioritize peace when it comes to negotiations and settlements. It is a good way for each of the spouses to let out steam and annoyances with each other yes, but at the end of the day, a peaceful settlement should be reached through the compromise of both parties. A great thing about divorce mediation is that you would be able to say everything you want to say about your soon to end marriage, all of the things that get you upset and stressed, and of course what you want out of the whole divorce. Whatever you say about yourself and your spouse would remain to be confidential to the three of you with the mediator. The mediator would be responsible in thinking of a compromise that would benefit each spouse in a fair manner so that each of you would be able to get the best out of the divorce. Not to mention that the children would be the top priority in the negotiations and settlements. There is nothing a mediator would want more than to make sure that the children going through the divorce of their parents would be in good hands after everything has been settled.
The Greater Good is Always the Future
It does not matter whether you and your spouse fought so much in the past, it does not matter if who hit who or if someone left without good reason. The mediator will always consider to give the future of the divorced family the best for the greater good. This most especially includes the children. Spouses get equal ground in mediation, so it does not matter whether one has been a worse spouse to the other. What matters is that the settlement that each of the spouses would reach to should benefit the greater good of the family.
Most people think that an amicable divorce, one in which the two parties have no legal representation for divorce and settle everything on their own, is impossible to achieve!
There will always be something to upset your former partner, which is what most of us would think if we had to negotiate our divorce without the help of an attorney. Moreover, most people will also think that, during such negotiations, there’s a higher chance of an unfavorable agreement.
Still, the question remains, can you possibly negotiate your divorce without the help of an attorney? If so, how? Well, keep on reading if you want to see the answers!
Negotiating Your Divorce
As you may have guessed, it’s possible for you to negotiate your divorce without an attorney. All you need to make sure that it goes well, is to ensure that both parties, you and your former partner, are in full agreement and understand the terms of the agreement.
Naturally, there are also some things that you must take into account if you want to end with a favorable agreement and without any disputes that would eventually call for an attorney.
- Understanding Your Finances
Obviously, before talking about what you own and owe to each other, you must understand your finances in order to properly negotiate them. You don’t want to start talking about finances if you have no idea what your financial situation is.
All you want to do is avoid a bad deal. In this respect, you may rely on the help of a financial advisor to help you understand your finances and what you would need from your former partner.
- Understanding What the Law Allows and Requires You to Do
Naturally, this aspect mostly refers to your children. The judges care about them, and both of you will have to comply with the laws of your state regarding children. You will also have to come up with a parenting schedule that will allow both parents to spend time and build a relationship with their children.
- Know What You Want and What You Need
To come up with what you really want, you can write those things down and rank them in the order of their importance. Keep in mind that you will not get everything that you want, but you will still be able to negotiate so that you get what’s important to you.
In terms of what you need, you must have a balance and budget sheet ready with you. You will also need to know how much you two earn, what you have, as well as what you owe each other. For example, having an income, being able to live decently, and paying your bills is a need and must not be treated as a want.
As you can see, it is possible to negotiate your divorce without an attorney. Doing so can help you save a lot of money and time and, overall, get it done much faster and easier.
However, if the two of you have a hard time reaching an agreement or common grounds, it is better to just let an attorney handle all this. If you cannot cooperate in this scenario, you will likely end up with a poorly-negotiated divorce and some things that you’ll regret.
You hoped that you’d be able to handle your divorce amicably, but now, you’re starting to doubt that the process will go smoothly.
Perhaps you’ve even been wrongly accused of child abuse, spousal abuse, or even of having an extramarital affair by your ex, and need to have an attorney on your side.
Maybe you’re just hoping that hiring a divorce lawyer will expedite the process.
No matter your situation, you need to know how to find a divorce lawyer you can count on.
Read on to learn what to look for in a good divorce attorney.
1. Evaluate Your Options
The first step in how to find a divorce lawyer?
Make sure they’re qualified to help you with the specific kind of divorce you’re seeking.
Are you planning to settle out of court or do you know you’ll head to trial? Are you interested in mediation or collaborative divorce? Is the divorce contested or uncontested?
For more about the kinds of divorce proceedings available, check out this site.
Keep in mind that if your ex has already lawyered up, now is absolutely the time for you to do the same.
2. Get to Know Their Experience Level
Yes, of course, you should ask and verify their credentials regarding where they went to law school and the validity of their state license.
However, experience is about much more than how many clients they’ve worked with and how long they’ve been in practice.
In understanding how to choose a divorce lawyer, you also need to know their experience with cases similar to your own.
If you’re seeking alimony, ask about the payments they’ve been able to secure for their past clients. If you feel the custody battle for children could get nasty, ask them how many times they’ve helped clients win custody.
What about their experience with division of assets, homeownership, and even handling threats against your character? Look for divorce lawyers that have fought similar battles on behalf of clients before.
3. Meet Them in Person
The best way for you to know how to find a good divorce lawyer is to meet them for a consultation. (If they attempt to charge you for an initial consultation, it’s a red flag.)
This will allow you to evaluate if you share similar communication styles, get in-person answers regarding the specifics of your case, and allow you to see how well they think on their feet.
Now is also the time to get the projected cost of their services and payment plan in writing so that you both can protect yourselves.
You can also begin the process of filing for divorce in their office immediately if you feel like it’s a good fit.
Learning How to Find a Divorce Lawyer Is Simple
While we know the process of divorce is hard, we hope this post has proved that understanding how to find a divorce lawyer doesn’t have to be.
Need more advice about how to file for divorce? Ready to study up on past famous divorce cases for inspiration?
Our blog has the advice — and news — that you need for all things related to the law. Bookmark our page for further reading.
Your divorce petition has been filed, and immediately, you feel as though a heavy load has been lifted from your shoulders. Finally, you can bid adieu to your spouse and get on with your life.
But not so fast.
As you navigate the divorce process — an experience that 40-50% of married couples in the United States have — you’ll have to deal with the issue of property division.
Unfortunately, property distribution is a divorce matter that often causes conflict no matter what a couple’s net worth is. Fortunately, the more you understand this complex process early on, the more effectively you can protect your rights as you proceed through it.
Here’s a rundown on what you need to know about divorce and splitting assets where you live.
Let’s jump in!
If you live in one of the following states, your asset distribution process will be governed by the community property principle:
- New Mexico
In these states, any property that you and your spouse managed to accumulate during your marriage is considered to be community property. That means all of this property must be split 50/50 during your divorce.
This property may include real estate, retirement earnings, and income, for example.
Meanwhile, any separate property — property that you both acquired before getting married — does not have to be divided. This property may include, for example, an inheritance or a personal injury award.
If you don’t live in the abovementioned states, you’re a part of the majority of American couples who must follow the equitable distribution principle during the divorce process.
With equitable distribution, any property that you and your spouse amassed while married will be split based on a variety of factors. These factors may include the following, for example:
- Both parties’ monetary contributions to the marital union
- Both parties’ non-monetary contributions to the marital union
- How long your marriage lasted
- Your and your spouse’s overall health
- Both parties’ educational levels
- Each person’s earning capacity following the divorce
- How asset distribution will affect both parties’ tax liabilities
- Your standard of living during the marriage
Note that with equitable division, your marital assets may not necessarily be split down the middle. Instead, you may end up receiving 60% of the assets, whereas your spouse will receive 40% of the assets.
A judge will ultimately determine the fairest, or “equitable,” way of splitting your shared assets based on the many factors listed above.
However, divorce lawyers can help you to fight for the maximum amount of assets to which you are entitled considering your unique circumstances.
How We Can Help with Divorce and Splitting Assets
In addition to highlighting how divorce and splitting assets work, we make it easy for you to find the right lawyer for your divorce case.
On our site, you can search through our directory of hundreds of law firms to pinpoint the one who best meets your needs.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can simplify your attorney search and thus approach your divorce proceeding with confidence.
When you decide divorce is the answer, as about half of all married couples in the country do, you’re going to be giving up more than just your partner.
Be prepared to part with some (or a lot) of your money, as there are a number of fees and other financial considerations to take into account when calculating the cost of divorce.
From legal costs to dividing assets, divorce can run into the thousands of dollars by the time the split is finalized. Let’s take a look at the expenses involved in a marital split that you should be aware of.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
The cost of legal fees attached to divorce can vary depending on whether both parties agree to the terms. In the case of an “amicable” or uncontested divorce where there are no major disputes, the costs of an attorney can hover around $1,000 or more depending on the state (New York and California tend to be higher.) However, many divorces end up being contested and require more legal intervention.
In the case of a contested divorce, terms cannot be reached by both parties so the matter often ends up in court. That means needing legal representation for a longer period of time because at this point a judge will make the final decision.
In the case of a contested divorce, how to file for divorce can become more complicated.
The Steps to File for Divorce
• Hiring a lawyer. They know the paperwork that’s required and will ask you the right questions about your shared assets and debts, as well as where the kids are better off living and how much will be required from the spouse to support them.
• Preparing all the appropriate divorce documents with the help of a lawyer to be filed with the court clerk.
• Serving a divorce petition to your partner through a county sheriff or another official that you hire. There can be situations where the partner needs to be tracked down, but they must be informed of the intention to divorce to continue the process. Your partner has 30 days to respond.
• Gathering of information and witnesses to support your reasoning for the divorce. Witnesses may be called if the divorce goes before a court.
• In the case of children or child support, you must also file the right forms with the nearest child support agency.
• Also, be prepared to attend pre-trial hearings.
• Heading to trial for a final decision if necessary.
Before your case reaches court, your lawyer will likely try to negotiate a settlement on your behalf with your spouse’s lawyer.
These are the types of settlements that you typically hear from in the celebrity world, and they are often in the millions of dollars.
But divorce settlements are designed to help the average person from going to trial, which can drag out depending on the details and add to your legal costs. Typically with a divorce settlement, both parties sign off on property division, child custody, visitation rights, and child support payments. They also lay the groundwork for how investments and pensions are handled, as well as anticipated expenses such as paying for your child’s university education.
The divorce settlement process is not for everyone, and the matter ends up in court anyway.
When an appropriate settlement can’t be reached or both parties are at odds, then the case will go before a judge. During this process, both parties can present witnesses to try and build a case in their favor, so this is an especially important time to have a competent lawyer with experience.
So, What’s the Overall Cost of Divorce?
As mentioned, there are a number of factors involved in how much you’ll end up paying for a divorce. There are different fees depending on the state, and the legal costs will also be more for contested cases that take longer to resolve.
For a divorce that both parties agree on, you can pay as little as $1,000 for a lawyer. In the case of a contested divorce, that number can rise to $15,000 or more if it goes to trial. The hourly rate for a divorce lawyer can be around $250. Most divorce attorneys will want an hourly rate agreement due to the unpredictability of each case.
Remember, that’s just the legal cost to finalize a divorce. You should also keep in mind the ongoing costs that are associated with divorce, such as child support payments. These amounts are usually tied to how long each parent will spend with their child, as well as income. Spousal support (more commonly known as alimony) is another consideration.
Many states have formulas in place to decide how long support payments should last. For example, a marriage that lasts less than five years means the awarded spouse will get payments for a time equal to half the duration of the marriage. For marriages that last for 10 years or more, that duration could be indefinite.
Generally, the partner that makes the most money stands to lose more in a divorce. If you owned a business when you got married, the spouse could seek money for that too if they contributed to its success (and in some cases, even if they didn’t.)
Let a Lawyer Help
Even if you’re having an uncontested divorce, it’s still beneficial to have a lawyer to handle all of the appropriate forms and make sure everything is done correctly.
In the case of a contested divorce, be prepared for a bit of a rollercoaster ride that can be smoothed out with the assistance of an attorney. Divorce is an emotional and potentially expensive process, but the cost of divorce is less so when you have the right legal representation.
Visit often to read more advice from the legal world on our site.
Divorce is something no one wants to go through. But, in our society, divorce is a fairly common occurrence. Sadly, divorces occur for a variety of reasons, but all divorces are painful for both partners and their children.
But, divorce wasn’t always an option for married couples. By studying the history of divorce, we can learn more about its origins and why it became legal.
Despite its history, divorce is heartbreaking. In our society, we value lifelong love and commitment. For people getting divorced, they may feel like a failure because of these standards. However, divorce is usually the best choice when either partner isn’t happy.
It’s especially a healthy choice if a marriage becomes abusive. Abuse can be physical, financial, emotional, or mental. And, abuse can cause serious damage to one’s self-esteem. It can also result in depression and other mental health problems.
This makes getting a divorce even more difficult. Figuring out financial matters may also cause someone to delay getting a divorce.
But, knowing the history of divorce may shed some light on why it became necessary in the first place, however. Read on to find out the history of divorce to discover why it became a necessity.
Facts about the History of Divorce
The current divorce rate is 40 to 50 percent. And, this number increases in each subsequent marriage after one’s first divorce. This makes getting a divorce a fairly common occurrence in our culture.
There are many steps to take to get a divorce. Paperwork must be filed with the courts, assets must be separated, and court dates have to be attended. Each party would also be advised to hire a divorce lawyer.
Divorces can also drag on for months or even years if the former couple is having difficulty completing these steps.
Divorce marks the end of one stage in someone’s life. A divorcee may or may not have expected the divorce. But, despite any preparation, life after divorce takes time to adjust to.
This is because each partner must re-learn how to live on their own. They must also learn how to not rely on the other partner on a daily basis. Even if the marriage was rocky for some time, a feeling of comfort and continuity may still have existed.
Divorce is a major life transition. And, as well all know, change can be scary. But, coping with divorce is entirely possible.
If you’re unsure if you should get a divorce, then this article by Vayman & Teitelbaum P.C. may help you to decide.
If you’re wondering why divorce was legalized, then explore the following facts about the history of divorce to learn more about why it became a necessity in our society.
1. Divorce in Ancient Times
Divorce isn’t a 20th-century creation. Divorce has actually been around since ancient times. In both ancient Babylon and ancient Rome, getting a divorce was very easy.
However, in both cultures, divorce was much easier for men than for women to initiate. In Babylon, for example, all a husband needed to do was say that his wife was no longer his wife and return her dowry. The wife, however, would be required to file a lawsuit and prove adultery.
In Rome, all that was needed was a proclamation of divorce by the couple in front of seven witnesses.
2. The Beginning of Divorce: Henry VIII
The story of Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, and Anne Boleyn remains one of the most infamous love triangles of all time.
Henry VIII was displeased that his wife, Catherine, could not produce a male heir. So, he decided that the Pope needed to annul his marriage to Catherine because of this.
When the Pope refused, Henry VIII separated from the Roman Catholic church. He ended up getting his marriage to Catherine annulled and then married Anne Boleyn. But, three years after marriage, Henry VIII accused Anne of many crimes and she was beheaded as punishment.
This was the only divorce that ever occurred in 1536.
3. 1857: The Birth of Divorce
In 1857, the Matrimonial Causes Act allowed common people to also get divorced. This act moved divorces from Christian courts to civil courts. It reduced the cost of divorce and also changed divorce proceedings.
This act still favored men in that men only needed to prove adultery to divorce their wives. Women, on the other hand, had to prove adultery and another offense such as cruelty, desertion, or bigamy.
4. 1969: Divorce Reform Act
The 1969 Divorce Reform Act, which became effective in 1971, allowed couples to divorce without proving fault. This allowed couples to divorce after being separated for at least 2 years. If only one partner wanted the divorce, the separation needed to last for 5 years.
However, divorce still continued to favor men until 1996. In 1996 a lawsuit, it was determined that the role of the homemaker deserved to be equally recognized during divorce proceedings. This allowed women to be granted a more fair divorce settlement.
The History of Divorce to Present Times
Knowing the history of divorce may help us to understand why divorce became commonplace in our society. It may also help us to understand why divorce is a necessity for the health and wellness of each and every family.
If you’re going through a divorce, then consider getting the help you deserve. Talk with a therapist about how you’re feeling so you can cope with your emotions effectively. When getting a divorce, you can expect to go through a grieving process similar to when a loved one passes.
This grieving process can last for many years. But, with help and support from loved ones and healthcare professionals, you can successfully rebuild your life. You will likely also need the guidance of a lawyer to navigate the divorce process with you.
When going through a divorce, it’s also important to set a good example for your children. Try your best to limit negative discussions about your former partner in front of your children. You should also consider getting your children emotional support during this difficult time as well.
To learn more about the grieving process and how to get support, check out our blog post.
Modern-day life unfolds at a rapid pace, so people try to enjoy and use each moment of their day efficiently. But no one can avoid failures, and all that people can do is just to try to achieve their goals and dreams by trial and error. Marriages fail. Divorce rates are still high. However, divorcing spouses’ behavior has significantly changed in recent decades, according to the statistics. More and more people prefer to treat a divorce not as a tragedy or a chance for revenge, but as a business deal. And it is joyous – at least, as far as it’s possible to say “joyous” in a divorce context. Choosing a calmer uncontested divorce instead of “traditional” divorce litigation, people not only save their precious time but also get a chance to maintain a friendly relationship when the dust settles. The thing is that contested divorce often causes more anger and offense, than an initial ground for divorce – what is undoubtedly bad for children if any.
Along with it, it’s no secret that contested divorces are costly. Divorce attorneys charge hourly fees, and proceedings often turn out to be quite long-drawn. Even though there are cases when you really cannot do without litigation, more often, people just make the process more complicated than it needs to be, paying for their own stress.
Do not fall into that trap. Do not think that serious things cannot be affordable. Let’s consider the most popular divorce options and methods which generate significant savings in money.
Refuse to Contest and Blame
As was mentioned above, a contested divorce is usually much more expensive than uncontested one. This is due to the fact that contested divorce typically require many hearings which are needed so that the judge could go over the case and make a fair decision. The longer the process is, the more money is charged by the attorney. Although everybody has the legal right to act as a self-represented litigant, divorce experts caution against Pro Se divorce if it comes to a contested divorce. If the spouses cannot reach an agreement, if there is no trust between them, none of them can expect the fair battle. The one may want to act as Pro Se litigant, and the second will hire a lawyer to protect their interests. Don’t risk if there is no chance to negotiate with your ex-partner.
But if there is a chance to communicate politely and efficiently be sure to use it! Nowadays, about 90% of all divorces within the USA are uncontested, meaning that they are settled out-of-court.
An uncontested divorce occurs when the spouses agree to discuss all the most essential and controversial issues of their divorce directly, without litigation. They submit a Waiver Of Hearing form to the judge and take responsibility for all the decisions concerning property division, child custody, alimony, and so on. They are obliged to outline all their joint arrangements in a Marital Settlement Agreement. This paper should be submitted to the court, and after the judge reviews it and approves as fair, a divorce can be granted on the spouses’ terms.
Since uncontested divorce does not imply any competition or claims, you can arrange it without an attorney at all. However, if you think you still need some legal aid anyway, hiring a lawyer for an uncontested divorce is much cheaper than for a contested proceeding. Dealing with an uncontested divorce, divorce lawyers usually charge flat fees per case, which is about $1500 on average. Compared to the hourly fees about $250 per hour during the lengthy contested process, the benefit is obvious.
Do It Yourself
Well, flat fees per uncontested case seem to be quite inexpensive, but how to save even more? So, back to divorce without an attorney. First, your divorce should be no-fault and uncontested, but also, both you and your spouse should be ready to spend some time and efforts for negotiation and filling out the paperwork.
A purely DIY divorce means that you deal with each stage of the divorce process on your own, without any assistance. What are the steps you need to take?
- Make sure you meet the residency requirements of your state.
- Determine what divorce forms and documents are needed for your particular case as well as where to get them.
- Learn more about the filing rules and regulations of your state and fill out the paperwork correctly.
- Apply the Petition for Divorce along with the other necessary forms with the local court.
- Serve your spouse with the copies of divorce paperwork according to the rules of your state (this may be done via certified mail, or personally by the private process server or any adult who is not involved in a case.) You can skip this step only if your state allows filing the Joint Petition for Divorce.
- Wait for notice of final hearing. Some states require mandatory waiting periods between filing the Petition and final hearing, and some do no, so read the Family Law of your state. Anyway, the final hearing is rarely appointed earlier than after several weeks after filing, and you can use this time to prepare and improve your Settlement Agreement or Parenting Plan (if you have children) if you haven’t done it in advance. These documents are particularly important, so you should work them out thoroughly.
- Attend the final hearing. An uncontested final hearing is typically the brief and calm procedure. The judge needs to review all your divorce paperwork and make sure it is completed correctly, and all the arrangements and agreements are fair and do not contradict the state law. The spouses testify their intention to get divorced one more, and if the judge is satisfied with all the work done, he/she signs a Final Divorce Decree.
Contrary to popular belief, do-it-yourself divorce is not only for couples who have no children or whose marriage had lasted less than five years. In fact, there are no severe legal restrictions in most of the US states concerning a DIY divorce. If you think you are capable of making a Settlement Agreement and allocate all your spousal and parental responsibilities in a way which would satisfy you, you a free to get a divorce without an attorney and related expenses. Ideally, your divorce costs may be limited to mandatory court filing fees (charged at the time of filing for divorce) which are between $50 and $400 depending on the state.
Be Flexy. Use the Help Selectively
Life is not black and white, and the modern divorce process allows mixing different divorce options according to the circumstances of a particular divorce case. If you are not ready to arrange a real DIY divorce, it still does not mean you must go to trial and waste a lot of money.
There are plenty of helpful methods and services which you may use only on that divorce stage, which seems to be the most challenging for you.
- Online divorce – at the stage of completing the paperwork
Online divorce is a perfect way to save your time and nerves while collecting the necessary divorce papers. Online divorce drafting service offers to take on them all the paperwork issues. This means you do not need to sort out the state laws, trying to find out what the papers you need to file in your unique divorce case, as well as how to fill all the documents without mistakes so that the court approves it at first try. Online divorce website does it for you within two days. For a reasonable fee of about $150-400, you receive a completed divorce paperwork kit which is already prepared to be signed and approved by the court. This option is trendy now, and there are plenty of similar online divorce companies, so you can choose any you want, regardless of where you live.
- E-filing – at the stage of filing for divorce
Electronic filing of legal papers is gradually becoming popular in family law and divorce lawsuits in many US states. Although e-filing is yet to be recognized by all counties, you should learn something about this method and check is it is available in your case.
Electronic filing for divorce allows you not to attend the court or clerk’s office at all. You should just download your divorce forms and documents with a specific e-filing provider, and then to receive the mail with the copies but with the court stamp on them. Once there is a court stamp on your Petition for Divorce, your case is filed, and a divorce procedure has officially started. You must print these stamped copies so that to notify your spouse of the divorce lawsuit formally.
This option is great for everyone who has a hectic schedule.
- Divorce mediation – at the stage of negotiation.
Divorce mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution, which perfectly suits uncontested divorces which goal is to reach an agreement between the parties. Unlike contested divorces where each spouse has their own lawyer, divorce mediator works with both parties, without taking somebody side. A mediator cannot order something or even give a piece of legal advice. However, he/she leads the couple’s dialogue, helping to cooperate, communicate efficiently, and achieve a mutually beneficial agreement. People often say that divorce mediation is half legal aid and half therapy. In some states, divorce mediation can be ordered by the court, especially for the couples who have children. When it comes to parental rights and liabilities, the American judiciary encourages peaceful problem-solving. It helps couples to maintain healthy relations and, therefore, to ensure the best interests of the child.
Time never stands still, and the American judiciary has undergone many changes aimed to ease a divorce process recently. Modern American divorce is, whenever possible, a quick and cheap procedure which not only ends the legal marriage but also regulates the certain post-divorce rights and liabilities in an agreed and amicable way.
Unfortunately, not all marriages work out. If you’re in this situation, then hiring a divorce attorney can help you navigate through this hard time.
Sadly, you aren’t alone. An estimated 40% to 50% of marriages in the United States fail.
This does mean that there will be a divorce lawyer out there who can help.
But how do you find the best one?
Follow the tips below to help with your search.
1. Know What Your Goals Are
What do you want to get out of your divorce?
A divorce is a tricky process. You’re going to be diving up money, assets, and potentially dealing with child custody.
You want to hire someone that knows how to help you achieve your goals. When talking with attorneys, ask about their past cases with situations similar to yours.
If you find someone with a good history of winning, then you increase your chance of a successful outcome.
2. Have a List of Questions
You shouldn’t go into the first meeting with an attorney without preparing. Have a list of questions prepared for them.
These questions should answer a few things:
- How am I billed?
- Do you specialize in divorce cases?
- Will you be the one working on my case?
- Do you have any conflicts of interest in my case?
- Have you worked with the opposing attorney before?
The more questions you ask, the better you can judge if an attorney is right for your case.
If you’re ready to start asking questions you can contact divorce attorney, Cynthia Diggs to get your answers.
3. Look for Disciplinary Problems
You don’t want to babysit a problem-child during your divorce. Make sure you research any disciplinary problems a lawyer has had.
You can find this information at your state’s disciplinary board.
While this may not rule out a lawyer completely, it can be a reason to ask more questions.
4. Find Referrals
The best advertising is word of mouth. There’s nothing better than hearing from a past customer that had good results.
Make use of online review sites to see which lawyers in your area are highly rated. Prioritize finding them and getting in touch with them first.
Once you find the set of lawyers you want to work with, ask for referrals from them.
If they provide you this, you can get a first-hand account of what it’s like to work with someone. You’ll be able to learn the good and the bad.
5. Talk in Person First
It’s important to talk to a lawyer in person before hiring. You want to get a sense of the kind of person they are.
You could be working with them for a long time. You want to be sure that their personality matches what you’re looking for in an attorney.
You can also use this time to learn how hands-on they will be in the process.
Do you want someone who will hold your hand or someone that lets you take care of some of the work?
Don’t Rush Into Hiring a Divorce Attorney
Going through a divorce can be a long and tedious process. If you don’t want to make this process worse, then do your research and find a good divorce attorney.
Having someone on your side that does good work can make the process much easier.
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Getting into a divorce? It’s never easy, especially when it comes to discussing things like child custody and property distribution.
One of the solutions to ease the process is to hire the right divorce lawyer. Don’t hire the first one you come across. There are crucial questions to ask a divorce lawyer to determine if he or she is the right person for your case.
Not sure what to ask? Uncertain if you found the right lawyer?
Try out our list below. Ask these questions and check if your lawyer suits your needs.
1. What Kind of Cases Do You Focus On?
Keep in mind not all divorce lawyers specialize in the same type of case. You need to find a lawyer who has experience in similar cases as yours.
Does your divorce focus on cases involving child custody? Does he or she take cases involving divorce due to physical abuse or cases that require financial settlements?
Understanding their focus can help you with your specific case. The more experience they have, the more likely it is the divorce will go smoothly.
2. What’s Your Fee Structure?
If I’m looking for a divorce attorney near me, the next question you want to ask is the lawyer’s fee structure. Let’s admit it, attorney fees can be a problem to many people. This is truer for the party who will be paying for the alimony in the end.
You want to have a divorce lawyer who is willing to explain their fee structure. How they will charge you can be helpful in managing your finances and prevent bill shock.
3. How Do You Handle Divorce Procedures?
Among questions to ask a divorce lawyer, you want to ask them their approach in handling divorce procedures. Every state will have different family laws and procedures. You want your divorce attorney to be knowledgeable of the local laws and understand their pros and cons.
Many cases will have varying levels of complexity. Even then, hiring a divorce attorney with experience means they have a working knowledge of duration. Ask them for the estimate of what they think about the entire situation.
4. What is Your Divorce Strategy?
While you’re asking for the duration, also ask about their strategy. Your aim in a divorce is to separate as amicably as possible. Your next goal is to make sure you don’t get short-ended in the entire process on the financial end.
If I’m looking for divorce lawyers near me, I want to make sure that they lay out their strategy. You want to know what they would do with different situations that might arise.
5. How Will We Communicate?
Communication with your divorce lawyer is crucial during the divorce process. Before hiring, ask your attorney their communication strategy with you. This is crucial in case any vital information comes up or any changes happen.
How frequent can you connect with your representation? How will they communicate with you? You need to make sure to lay out what is the medium of communication that you are comfortable with.
Remember that this is your divorce. You have the right to make sure your attorney keeps you posted with any developments and vice versa.
6. What Are The Possibilities Of My Case?
One of the best things to ask them is to give you some hints on where your case can go off the rails. Whether or not they can provide some insight means they listened well and understands your case.
What are the strengths of your case? What are the weaknesses? Which areas would you need to work on to win the case?
These are crucial introductory questions to a divorce. If you are hiring a divorce attorney, they need to know the best way to ensure a favorable outcome.
7. How Do You Handle Alimony Fees?
Alimony fees are one of the biggest problems when it comes to a divorce. Whether it’s litigation or settlement, alimony can make or break your case. Your divorce lawyer needs to know how to give you the best options in child support.
A divorce attorney should know how to give you the best chances as per state law. Each state has a different law when it comes to how much or even if a party gives alimony at all. If you are the one the case expects to give alimony, you want to find a way to minimize it.
You want your divorce attorney to make sure alimony fees are in your favor. When divorce lawyers can guarantee lower expenses, that’s a partial win. Hiring an expert family law attorney can help you secure alimony and can reduce all the unnecessary costs.
8. How Do You Handle Child Custody?
In any divorce proceeding, nothing takes precedence over child custody. You want your children to grow under your care. You need a lawyer that can fight for your right over your children and their future.
Apart from the emotional victory of keeping your children, it can also help you secure a financial win. Having child custody means being able to get alimony instead of giving it away.
In cases where child custody will go to your ex-spouse, you want to make sure you get ample visitation rights.
9. How Do You Handle Dividing Marital Asset?
Hiring a divorce attorney means having a say on what properties you get. Dividing marital assets can become a problem. If you lose this portion, you could lose everything to your ex-spouse, from properties to your bank savings.
This can even ruin your life, which is why it’s crucial that your divorce lawyer understands how to win. Sure, many states have straightforward laws about assets, but many handle asset division via ruling.
What Are Questions To Ask A Divorce Lawyer?
There are many questions to ask a divorce lawyer. Before hiring one, make sure that they have good experience in the field. The probable difference between a good life and a bad life after divorce is how good your lawyer is.
If you’re looking to learn more about hiring lawyers and general tips on legal proceedings, check out our other guides now. We tackle topics that can help you understand different legal proceedings.
Thousands of children experience the sorrow of divorce each year, and parents can do specific things to help them through the process. The experienced attorneys at KoonsFuller Family law can help parents navigate the difficulties their children will experience during a divorce.
Of course, how each child’s reaction depends on their distinct personality, his or her age, and the specific circumstances of the separation and divorce process in your family. Every divorce will affect the kids involved–there’s no way around that. The initial reactions during the first year are often similar to the grieving process as children cycle through some of the following feelings: shock, denial, sadness, frustration, anger, anxiety, and finally acceptance.
The good news is that children can also come out of divorce with better coping skills, more flexibility, and more tolerance for the struggles of others. You can help your children move on with these enhanced skills by frankly telling them the truth without being long winded, by saying, “I love you” frequently, and by honestly preparing them for the big changes ahead, We all do better when we’re psychologically prepared for changes, and children often have confusing gaps in understanding that you can fill with honesty and love.
Some of the most important things mental health experts agree that parents can do to guide their children through this difficult time are among the following:
- Keep visible conflict, heated discussions, and legal talk away from the children–no matter how hard it is.
- Provide family traditions your kids can rely on, and remind them that they can count on you for stability, care, and structure.
- Maintain a working relationship with your ex if at all possible.
- Protect your children from the stress and anguish that comes with watching parents in regular conflict.
- Confine negativity and blame to your professional therapy or talks with friends–outside the home.
- Seek professional help for your children, too. Family counseling can be very helpful in giving your children a safe place to discuss their worries.
- Regularly remind them that the divorce is absolutely not their fault.
- Remind them that THEY are not responsible for fixing things, and that there’s nothing they can do to change the outcome. It sounds harsh, but they need to understand that the divorce is real, and that they can’t change that.
- Children’s books about divorce can be very helpful in helping YOU know how to talk about this topic and to encourage them to talk, as well.
When custody fights are fierce, the process can be even more damaging for children, and a professional attorney who specializes in custody law can also provide excellent advice for how to protect children from the emotional fallout. Adults going through separation and divorce usually need support, too— from mental health professionals, close friends, experienced family law attorneys such as those at KoonsFuller Family Law, clergy, and family members whose council your trust.
Final advice. Don’t seek support from your kids, even if they seem to want to provide it. This puts them in a terrible position. Seek support from professionals, and take one day at a time. Soon, you’ll be on the other side of this process and beginning a new life.