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What does a divorce lawyer do?
A divorce can be a long, painful, and complicated process. A divorce lawyer can help you navigate tedious court procedures and paperwork to grant you divorce as quickly as possible.
Many people are confused about how to choose a good divorce lawyer and what services will be rendered by these lawyers. Based on the details, lawyers devise the best strategy to handle your case and inform you of your divorce options. When your lawyers have everything they need to begin your case, they will hand you the necessary paperwork.
The duties of a divorce advocate vary based on the facts of the case. However, an advocate is typically responsible for assisting the client throughout the process, from the initial meeting to resolving issues after the divorce is finalised. A divorce lawyer provides the following services:
- Handling marital property, bank accounts, credit cards, and other marital assets
- Assures about the status of disputes, court proceedings, and stages of divorce proceedings
- Prepares and files all paperwork, such as summons and complaints, motions, custody papers, and final divorce and custody orders
- Acts as an intermediary to resolve disputes during the divorce process, such as custody and property disputes
- Represents the clients in all court hearings
Many people fret over how to choose a good divorce lawyer for various reasons. Divorce advocates are skilled at presenting a case to a judge, seeing the big picture, and negotiating the best deal for their clients.
Second, divorce lawyers can provide options people were unaware of. As a result of their previous experience with similar cases, they may be able to predict the outcome, suggest settlement options, and put together a settlement proposal.
How to get ready for the divorce case?
Make no mistake: divorce is a heartbreaking experience. Divorce is the death of a dream, a marriage, or your plans. The picture you had of your life burns to the ground. To make matters worse, you find yourself in legal, emotional, spiritual, and financial shambles.
Going through a divorce is a painful experience. You will be stronger if you commit to small, daily changes—little victories—and connect with others in vulnerable relationships. Here is a divorce checklist to assist you in caring for yourself, your finances, and your future.
Organise a Group
Divorce is an isolating and cold experience. Some days, you just want to crawl into bed and stay there forever. Sometimes, it is necessary to withdraw and experience dark grief. However, this emotional mechanism should not be your primary coping strategy.
You must look after yourself (more on that soon). The most important thing is that divorce cannot be overcome alone. You require the assistance of others.
When selecting your support team, please ensure the following aspects. First, choose people who can help you in various ways because divorce affects every aspect of your life.
Second, allow each person to contribute in their own unique way. Instead of having unrealistic expectations, limit your expectations to the expertise they can provide in their specific fields.
Although talking to a trusted family member or friend is fine, I recommend meeting with a professional counsellor or minister.
When dealing with major trauma, such as domestic or substance abuse or childhood trauma brought on by the divorce, you may only require one session or extensive healing. Let your friends be your friends while you rely on professionals to do the heavy lifting.
During a divorce, because of the emotions associated with the trauma, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, producing considerable adrenaline and cortisol. Keeping those stress chemicals in your system for an extended period is harmful. Even if you do not feel up to it, take care of your body and pay attention to its needs. Join a friend at the gym.
Take a walk with a coworker during lunch. Eat healthy. Ensure you sleep well during the night. Reduce your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and limit mindless binge watching.
While an amicable divorce can be attained with mutual maturity, most people require the services of a divorce lawyer. A good lawyer will explain your rights, responsibilities, and legal jargon so you can make informed decisions about your future. Make sure your lawyer has the heart of a teacher, not a nuclear demolition expert.
You will not win if you use your advocate as a weapon against your spouse. You could end up with the house, the dresser, or the dog. However, you will lose your dignity and endanger your children.
You win when you allow your lawyer to assist you in legally terminating the relationship and moving on. Furthermore, every interaction with a lawyer is costly. You will save a lot of time and money if you keep your emotions in check and list what you want to discuss with your lawyer ahead of time.
Financial changes will be among your top concerns. Therefore, consult a financial planner. They have helped other clients get through divorce and can advise you on financial matters.
You will also need to review your insurance policies (more on that later). Find a reputable local broker who can get you the best rates and the most coverage.
Divorce is harmful to children. Relationship strife, protracted court battles, bad-mouthing your spouse, using your children as bargaining chips, and hiding from them all result in long-term trauma. Therefore, caring for your children and explaining things to them positively is essential.
Steps to choosing a good divorce lawyer
The duties of a divorce advocate vary depending on the facts of the case. Finding the right divorce lawyer is critical to what could be a quicker, less expensive divorce rather than a long, drawn-out emotional and financial nightmare.
How to choose a good divorce lawyer? How do you know you are investing all your money, hopes, and dreams in the right divorce lawyer if you do not know what to look for?
Here are a few steps on how to choose a good divorce lawyer for you:
First, you must understand that divorce is a legal process designed solely to dissolve your assets and resolve custody issues. Your divorce advocate’s job is to represent you in this process to the best of their ability. While you may want them to hear your rage, frustration, pain, and sadness, that is not their job. They are not trained and do not wish to be your therapist or coach.
Please be aware that your advocate’s fees are high and the clock is always. Venting emotions unnecessarily is a terrible way to spend your money. Divorce lawyers have witnessed it all. What appears to be extremely important to you may barely register for them within the context of the legal process. Therefore, be realistic about your divorce advocate’s role and your expectations from them.
Maintain your focus on the goal
Your goal in this process is to divorce, and hopefully, you will be able to do so without considerably reducing your standard of living.
When negotiating over material items that do not mean much to you in the long run, do not let your emotions take over. If you do, your divorce will be longer, more litigious, and unquestionably expensive. Is it worthwhile? No.
Keep your focus on getting divorced as soon as possible and with as little financial harm as possible.
You should know what you want.
Consider other alternatives to conventional litigation before hiring a divorce advocate. You could hire a mediator to help you negotiate the terms of your divorce if you are not completely entangled with children and finances.
Mediation is the quickest and cheapest way to divorce, and you may not even need to hire an advocate! If your case is more complicated, you will need to hire a divorce advocate to negotiate a settlement with your spouse’s advocate.
You could also think about a collaborative divorce. Negotiation is the focus of a collaborative divorce, with the goal of preserving a co-parenting relationship. A litigated trial is your last resort.
Typically, neither side will compromise in these situations. Therefore, you must determine the type of divorce advocate you require based on your specific circumstances.
Recognise that any divorce advocate you speak with will try to steer you toward their area of expertise. Figure what you want first to make the best decision.
Determine at least three possible advocates
Do not hire the first lawyer you come across. They may not be the best option. Before making a decision, interview at least three divorce advocates. You should hire a family law specialist experienced in the type of divorce you believe is the best for you.
The ideal advocate has the legal knowledge and experience you require, assists you in understanding the process, communicates and negotiates effectively, solves problems creatively, and is familiar with your particular court system.
Request personal recommendations from your friends. Request divorce advocate recommendations from your trust or estate lawyer. Visit the numerous websites that provide client reviews of advocates in your area.
Potential advocates should be interviewed and researched.
Begin by making a phone call. Enquire about a lawyer’s family law experience and specialisation. Enquire about the typical type of client they represent and their rates.
Most divorce advocates charge an hourly rate and require a retainer, a fee paid in advance. Some lawyers will also bargain costs based on expected settlements. If a meeting is out of your price range, do not waste your time (or theirs).
Most divorce advocates offer a free consultation to discuss your situation and legal approach. Make the most of the opportunity by gathering as much legal advice as possible! Typically, the advocate you meet with will not be handling the day-to-day issues in your case, so request to meet with a colleague or associate who will.
Financial experts, parenting coordinators, coach facilitators, and forensic appraisers may be involved in the divorce process.
Determine whether your advocate can access these resources and whether they are relevant to your case, as this will affect the overall cost.
Even if you have no intention of going to trial, consider the advocate’s trial record and track record of success in court. This track record indicates your advocate’s ability to negotiate successfully.
Watch for red flags
Unfortunately, many advocates will tell you whatever you want to hear to complete the transaction. Although it may be your life, divorce is a business for lawyers. There are no guarantees in this process, so do not believe everything that an advocate says.
If an advocate discusses high-profile clients or discloses confidential information based on previous cases, they will likely do the same to you. If they are not respectful of the other divorce lawyers you are interviewing, then they will not be respectful toward you.
If they are constantly distracted by phone calls and emails during your consultation and cannot focus their full attention on you, they are unlikely to do so during your divorce case.
Make sure that the lawyer you select follows industry professional ethics and treats you with the respect and attention you deserve.
Make your decision
The divorce lawyer you hire should be local, professional, knowledgeable, responsive, and a good communicator—someone you trust and feel at ease with. This advocate should share your basic divorce philosophy and have a style that works best for you.
The advocate should understand the value of your children and prioritise them in the legal process by refusing to make unreasonable child support or custody arrangements.
The lawyer should be reasonably priced. Divorce is a deeply personal and emotional process, which can have far-reaching consequences in your life. It is an important decision, and this procedure has no guarantees. However, if you follow these steps, you can find the correct divorce lawyer.
Hopefully, this guide answers the most crucial questions regarding how to choose a good divorce lawyer? When you have done your homework, your divorce can proceed and finalise without incident. Divorce is never an easy decision, but going in with knowledge can help make this transition period less uncertain and easy to navigate.