What Does a Divorce Lawyer Do for You? The Complete Guide
July 30 2020 - Deciding to end a marriage is usually a painful and stressful event. It means circumstances have evolved that make it a good idea for the partners to part ways. On rare occasions, this can be done without attorney involvement, but in most cases, it takes a third party to make sure all matters are handled fairly and in a timely manner.
Before choosing someone to represent you in this delicate situation it is a good idea to understand what a divorce lawyer does for you.
Read on for information on the role of a divorce attorney.
Why You Should Hire a Divorce Lawyer
Lawyers tend to get a bad reputation at times, but a knowledgeable and experienced divorce attorney is exactly who you need on your side. Even if both parties are amicable and both want to avoid a messy and ugly divorce, it is always a good idea to have an objective party looking out for your best interests. Here's why.
Simply put, a divorce lawyer knows the law. While you and your spouse may have ideas about how to proceed, an attorney will help you navigate the legal system so there will be no surprises down the road.
There is a mountain of paperwork involved in a divorce proceeding. Your divorce lawyer is experienced in all the correct forms and information that is required. They will help guide you to avoid costly mistakes and valuable time.
This time will be highly stressful. An attorney is not emotionally involved and can be a steady ally during the proceedings. They are getting paid to handle the details and keep track of court dates and necessary paperwork. Yes, you need to do your part, but letting them do their job will reduce the pressure and stress on your shoulders.
Your Spouse Has Hired One
If your spouse has already hired an attorney or is looking for one, then you definitely need to have your side represented. This can go sideways quickly and you want someone on your side. Do not be tempted to go this alone against their hired divorce lawyer.
Now that you have made the decision on hiring a divorce lawyer, let's take a look at what they will do for you.
Form a Strategy
Every state has unique divorce laws and rules when it comes to settlement, disposition, and child custody. You would not be expected to know all the laws, but you definitely want someone on your side who does.
The first thing your attorney will do is sit down with you and come up with a game plan. They will want to talk to you and gather as much information and details as possible about the marriage, the reason for the divorce, and your goals moving forward.
The attorney will also talk to you about how involved you want them to be. If you are trying to work with your spouse on the sensitive issues, you just may want them as a support, or informative role.
However, if things are messy or contentious, you will want your legal team to take the lead. They are trained and experienced in handling difficult situations. You are still an integral part, but there in the background, while they do the heavy lifting.
Work for Fair Distribution of Property
Property and asset distribution is a major sticking point in many divorces. With people waiting to marry until they are older, many already have acquired property and valuables. For those divorcing for a second time, there is another layer of difficulty for what is his/hers/ours.
Another issue that arises is when one spouse handled all the financial dealings and kept the other in the dark. Even if you believe you are fully aware of the financial standing on the marriage, a good divorce lawyer will obtain records and money trails to make sure you are completely in the know and treated fairly.
There are many factors that go into the division of marital property. Here are some facts in this article by Hive Law.
Handling Debt and Spousal Support
In today's world where most adults having their own career or job, the role of alimony is not as clear cut as it once was. In addition, the incurred debt in a relationship can often be more of a problem than the actual dividing of property.
Both parties will typically want to hold on to as much financial stability as they can and avoid being left with piles of debt. Again, if both spouses are acting in good faith these issues may not arise. However, if someone is being vindictive or has a history of bad financial choices, you want confirmation that you walk away in good financial shape if at all possible.
What Does a Divorce Lawyer Do for You - Custody Issues
It probably isn't surprising that custody issues are the most challenging and emotional aspects of going through a divorce. While everyone will say they have the best interests of the children in mind, they are very often used as pawns.
An experienced divorce attorney will be able to see through the confusion and help negotiate a fair arrangement. There will be questions regarding support, custody issues, and visitation. There may even be questions that arise about moving or who can make legal decisions regarding the children.
If issues around the children get too emotionally charged on both sides, a family advocate may need to come in and assist to provide a completely objective view and mediate for the children.
Someone in Your Corner
When going through a divorce it may seem like you are all alone. The good news having an experienced attorney will help sort out the confusion.
When asking "what does a divorce lawyer do for you?" the answer comes in many forms. From the first step, all the way until the last document is signed, they will guide and protect your interests. You definitely need them in your corner.
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