Divorce attorneys protect the rights of married couples who are in the process of separating. When divorces are amicable, couples may work through lone attorneys to facilitate their separations. In other cases, attorneys may be hired to represent both spouses in relationships. While some people may see divorce attorneys as unnecessary, a good lawyer can help to ensure nobody is taken advantage of during complex divorce proceedings. Ask the following questions if you're seeking an attorney to stand with you through a divorce.
There's no point in getting two attorneys if you only need one. While some divorces can be nasty, drawn-out affairs, others may be mutual and free of conflict. If you and your soon-to-be ex seem to be in agreement of what should be done, then you can both save thousands of dollars and lots of time by working with one divorce lawyer.
Is this divorce attorney a member of ABA?
There are two main places to find a good attorney. The first is the American Bar Association (ABA) website. The ABA is the national professional organization for attorneys. Second, is the website of the state bar association. The state licensing authorizes list all of the lawyers currently in good standing. It is goes without saying that a lawyer currently under some form of disciplinary punishment should probably be avoided.
Does this divorce attorney specialize in collaborative or adversarial divorces?
Collaborative divorce settlements are those in which both parties agree that there should be no animosity generated by the legal proceedings. These separations do not involve the courts until the final phases. Until then, all involved work with the lawyers to create an equitable solution to end the marriage. Some attorneys believe more in adversarial divorces, in which each side tries to best the other. It is wise for those searching for an attorney to find out his or her philosophy toward divorce settlements.
How many divorce cases has this attorney handled?
Potential clients should be aware of how much experience their prospective lawyer has in the divorce field. No one wants a novice to handle a complicated marriage separation. By the same token, every lawyer needs to start somewhere, so it is not necessarily fair to discount one with little experience. Likewise, every marriage case has a different fact pattern, so even the most experienced attorney will have problems at some points.
How much courtroom experience does this divorce attorney have?
To put it plainly, there are lawyers who spend little time in the courtroom. These lawyers negotiate and negotiate until there is a settlement offer. For some clients this attitude is ideal. Court cases can be expensive, time consuming and physically draining. For others clients, driving a hard bargain with the other side and then taking them to court is the optimal way to win a divorce case.
What would be your strategy for winning my divorce case in court?
How far would you go to one-up your spouse in court? Do you want to keep things real, or do you consider nothing to be off limits? Some lawyers may want to play dirty to win your court case, while other divorce attorneys may opt for more dignified approaches, which could be better if you and your spouse share children. Make sure whoever you hire as your divorce attorney would represent you morally as well as legally.
How much will this divorce attorney cost?
Hiring an attorney is never cheap. When comparing divorce attorneys, get specific information on how much they bill per hour and about which services they bill for. Does the attorney only bill for time actively spent on your case, or will you be charged for quick phone calls, too? Also, which options are available for paying your fees?