Going through divorce proceedings can be a traumatic experience for most people. You are in an emotionally vulnerable state, and it’s difficult to control your feelings. Often, people end up making mistakes because they let emotions get the better of them. It is a challenge to think rationally and protect your best interest while at the same time, ensuring that the process is completed amicably. A key tenet of this process is hiring a divorce lawyer. Search for- divorce lawyers near me, and you will come across a list of attorneys you can contact to help you with your case.
However, not all attorneys can offer you the counsel, guidance, and support you are seeking. Therefore, you have to invest some time and effort into selecting the right divorce lawyer as per your needs. Don’t make the mistake of picking the first lawyer you find online. Some people, in a hurry to move things along, search for “divorce lawyers near me” and make a quick hire. The fact of the matter is that hiring the right divorce attorney will guarantee that your divorce agreement includes all pertinent facts and clauses, and you don’t make any mistakes that can cost you in the future.
Divorce Lawyers Near Me: What They Can Do for You
At this point, you might wonder if hiring a divorce lawyer is worth your while. Simply put, the turmoil and chaos divorce proceedings can bring along make it difficult for the parties to stay focused and neutral. There are several matters to sift through and many issues to deal with. You need a professional on your side to cover all bases and ensure you have absolute peace of mind. The last thing you need when going through a divorce is to have to deal with the stress of the case. This stress can add to the financial and emotional burden you are bearing already.
The divorce process involves several steps, from the time you file the papers to the negotiation regarding the division of assets. The matters can get complicated when it comes to child custody. Some people opt for an online divorce, which makes things simple, but even then you need to have a reliable lawyer representing you. Your divorce attorney will help you in the following ways:
Coming up with an effective strategy is crucial in divorces involving considerable assets or children. If the spouses are unable to come to an agreement, the lawyers are responsible for ensuring their clients get what they are seeking. Your divorce lawyer will provide you a fair overview of your chances of obtaining what you ask for in the divorce. Based on this, your lawyer will come up with a strategy and also apprise you of the time it could take for the case to be resolved.
Do note that it can be difficult for you to negotiate without the assistance of an attorney. Since you are emotionally invested in the case, you might act in a rush or play hardball, which might not be the most tactful approach. Your lawyer will handle the negotiation process on your behalf.
Dealing with Paperwork
A divorce can involve a considerable volume of paperwork. As a layperson, you will not be familiar with the workings of the legal system and how the divorce process works. Hence, you are likely to make mistakes along the way. Your lawyer, however, will have the experience and expertise to file your papers and deal with forms, making sure that the machinery rolls along smoothly. This makes things easier for you and also helps you save time. You don’t have to take time off work and commute across the city to deal with the paperwork. Your lawyer will take care of the legwork for you.
You and your partner need to resolve matters related to assets and custody during the divorce. Swift resolution requires you to file motions for the pertinent questions, and this is another matter your lawyer will handle on your behalf.
Sometimes, divorce proceedings can lead to a communication breakdown between the couple. In that case, you might have a hard time convincing your partner to share pertinent information, particularly with regards to finances. Your lawyer can help you seek and obtain information related to the income and investments of your spouse.
Just as you search for “divorce lawyers near me” when going through a divorce, other experts might be required to strengthen your case. This is usually the case when your case goes to trial. Your divorce lawyer will find the relevant experts and bring them on board to help out. Some of the widely used experts in divorce cases include psychologists. If you are facing a battle for custody, you might have to work with a social worker.
As you can see, there are several ways in which hiring a divorce lawyer can make your life easier. When going through a divorce, you need all the help you can get. Finding the right divorce lawyer can reduce your hassle and stress, and also ensure that your interests are protected. For more information visit the Divorce page on Wikipedia.
What’s the Right Time to Look for Divorce Lawyers Near Me?
Having established the reasons why you should consider hiring a divorce lawyer, it is equally important to know the right time for it. Keep in mind that the specifics vary from case to case, and some cases are more complicated than others. Regardless, you should hire a divorce lawyer as quickly as possible, particularly if
Your Spouse Hires a Lawyer
If your spouse hires a lawyer, you will have to negotiate with him/her and not your partner. It can put you at a distinct disadvantage if you go toe to toe with an experienced attorney. Therefore, you should hire a lawyer to represent you. Once you hire an attorney, your spouse won’t be able to communicate directly with you without the attorney’s permission.
You Are At Fault
If you are at fault for the divorce, for instance, you cheated on your spouse or misrepresented your assets, you need to hire a divorce lawyer ASAP. You can hamper your chances of securing custody or alimony if you are at fault and your spouse has ample evidence to prove that. Hence, having a divorce attorney on your case is crucial.
You Are Battling for Custody
As with assets, there is a risk that you and your spouse are unable to agree on the custody of your children. In this situation, you have to prove to the court that your request for custody is the best arrangement for your children. Your attorney will help you strengthen your case, including hiring experts to prove that you are fit to be a single parent. Also, he/she will assist in uncovering evidence against your spouse to argue that awarding custody to your partner will not be the right decision.
You Have a Huge Debt
Finances are often a point of contention during a divorce. If you have a massive debt, you need professional advice from an experienced divorce lawyer. You need to be aware of the tax implications of your divorce. Keep in mind that the same applies if you have extensive assets. You should have an attorney with you to review your finances and make the necessary suggestions to prevent tax issues.
How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Charge?
When you search for “divorce lawyers near me”, you will find a wealth of information, including experience, location, areas of expertise, and the price. It would be a mistake for you to hire a lawyer based on price alone. The cost of hiring a divorce lawyer depends on the particulars of your case. For instance, if you have a contested divorce, the cost would be higher. That said, you can keep a ballpark figure in mind.
The average per hour rate for a divorce attorney is $250 to $300. Of course, you could end up paying more if you hire the best in the business. Over the course of your case, the cost can add up to a significant amount. You can also look for a lawyer who charges a flat fee. In that case, you might have to put up a few thousand dollars as a retainer. These numbers are relevant for an uncontested divorce. In case of a contested divorce, you can end up spending more than $10,000.
How to Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer
As mentioned, not all divorce lawyers are right for your case. You need to consider a few factors before you make a decision, including
Your best bet is hiring a divorce attorney located near your residence. This reason is why you should search for “divorce lawyers near me” on Google instead of just ‘divorce lawyers.’ A local lawyer will be familiar with the local courts and the laws that apply to your case. In other words, he will have the experience and expertise to secure your interests.
You need a divorce lawyer who has your back. A good way of checking this is to call up and to leave a message with the lawyer you are considering hiring to represent you. If you don’t get a response within a day, you should move on. Responsiveness is the key to a healthy relationship with your divorce lawyer, or else you might be left stranded.
Lawyers tend to promise you the stars and the sky in a bid to get you to hire them. However, you should not let this affect your decision. In fact, your best bet is hiring a divorce lawyer who can give you a realistic timeline of your case, the cost you will incur, and the settlement you can expect.
Experienced and Expertise
The right divorce lawyer for you is one who specializes in family law and has handled cases with specifics similar to yours. Moreover, the attorney should be experienced in negotiation and taking cases to trial.
Some online research for “divorce lawyers near me” can help you come across reviews from past clients. You can also check their websites for testimonials. You can ask the lawyer to provide references for their clients so you can speak to them firsthand and inquire about their experience with the attorney.
Preparing for Your First Meeting
Once you have shortlisted a few divorce lawyers based on the factors mentioned above, you need to prepare for your first meeting. It is natural for you to let the lawyer ‘sell’ their services to you. However, that might derail the conversation from the matter at hand. The purpose of your meeting with the lawyer should be so that you can make an informed decision. Asking a few questions can help:
What’s Your Price?
Start by asking about the ‘per hour’ rate or fixed fee the lawyer charges. You should also ask about a retainer. In some cases, your retainer might not be refundable, at least a certain part of it. Find out as much as you can about the cost you will incur, including how you will pay.
What’s Your Strategy?
During the first meeting, the divorce lawyer should provide you with a basic outline of the strategy for your case. You will have to appraise the lawyer of the specifics of your case, and based on this; you can request him/her to share their approach.
Have You Handled Similar Cases?
As mentioned, the most suitable option for you is hiring an attorney who specializes in divorce cases. Ask the lawyer if divorce is a major part of their practice and whether or not they handle cases similar to yours on a regular basis. An answer in the affirmative will help you narrow your search.
What’s the Estimated Timeline?
Keep in mind that it’s practically impossible to anticipate how long a divorce case can take, but the lawyer should at least give you an estimated timeline. If the timeframe is longer than what other lawyers give, you can discard options from your list.
Will You Handle All the Legwork?
Some divorce lawyers ask their clients to be involved in the proceedings, including handling specific tasks. Make sure you confirm this with the lawyer before you hire him/her so that you have a clear idea of the extent to which you will be involved.
Hiring a divorce lawyer can be a challenge, particularly once you have a long list of lawyers to select from. This is often the case when people search for “divorce lawyers near me”. Hopefully, this extensive guide will provide you sufficient information to pick the right lawyer.