More or less 700,000 couples in the United States got divorced in 2020. Usually, divorce is emotionally draining and time-intensive. According to the latest survey, the proceeding can last at least one year and will cost $13,000 on average. Although people involved do not need to hire legal counsel to get divorced, the process is pretty complicated.
Being without legal counsel can lead to issues, especially if the other party has one. If a person decides that hiring a lawyer makes a lot of sense, what is the best way to find a reputable one? Both parties will have their own requirements and issues, of course, and both parties will need their own attorney. Types of a divorce attorney and their fees can differ substantially.
But it is imperative to understand the vital elements of what these professionals do, where to find them, as well as what they will cost. Even if the parties involved are able to settle the issue without going to court, a good lawyer can help. If a person is considering hiring a separation attorney, here is what they should know.
To find out more about the difference between annulment and divorce, click here for details.
What do these professionals do?
Divorce attorneys protect the rights of their customers, along with handling related financial and custody aspects of the divorce proceedings. Importantly, these professionals will also explain the client’s legal aspect and available options. The lawyer should review the client’s situation and the related documents related to the case. These include tax returns, property value information, and paycheck stubs.
These professionals should also listen to their client’s account of their situation, as well as their objectives and advice depending on the client’s specific needs. Though only a fraction of these cases go to trial (ninety to ninety-eight percent settle before going to trial), of those cases that do, lawyers for both parties undergo a long and stressful preparation to present evidence before a judge, provide opening and closing arguments, and call witnesses to help their clients with their case.
Divorce attorneys draft marital settlement agreements, which are legal contracts that set out terms for child custody, division of assets, and alimony. Mediation is an excellent alternative to going to trial. This process involves neutral mediators who facilitate negotiations by attempting to help the parties involved come to terms. It is usually quicker and cheaper compared to going to trial.
Visit https://www.verywellmind.com/difference-between-divorce-and-annulment-2302038 to find out more about the trial process.
Couples can do this process without lawyers, but it may not be a wise idea to go unless the process is simple – for instance, the marriage was pretty short, and there were no kids involved or minimal to no property to divide. Divorce arbitration is another type of resolving disputes in negotiations without going to the judiciary, and it can also be a lot quicker.
It varies from mediation, with both parties presenting their case before a legal arbitrator whom they choose, and the mediator makes a fair decision on how the case will be handled. The mediator is usually a retired judge or attorney. But it is very important to note that most often, the decision of the mediator can’t be appealed.
Do people need divorce lawyers?
Working through a divorce process is usually pretty complicated – characterized by important paperwork, filing multiple forms, and waiting periods, among other prerequisites – adding hurdles to people who may wish to undertake the process without legal counsel. Depending on the couple’s case (whether they have a property, large retirement accounts, or kids), they may need to lawyer up to be involved in the proceedings.
The more work, a lawyer, has to do, the more expensive the cost will be. There are reasons why individuals choose to hire these professionals. First, they are very skilled at presenting cases to judges, seeing the whole picture, and finding the best possible deal for their customers.
Secondly, they can offer different options individuals may not have realized were readily available to them. These professionals may anticipate the result, suggest settlement options, as well as put together settlement proposals as a result of their vast experience with similar cases.
More importantly, given the intensity of the proceedings mentally, physically, and emotionally, a dissolution of marriage attorney act as a fair and objective third party. They help their clients remain levelheaded, as well as work toward the best resolution available. People with kids of important and valuable assets will likely need an attorney. In contrast, two individuals who have comparable and minimal assets will more likely need the same level of help.
Finding the right legal counsel for your case
When you have identified possible candidates, make a list of your top choices and schedule an interview. Some firms or professionals offer free consultations, but people need to spend some money on paid meetings if they think the lawyer is reputable.
Each session will teach them how they want their divorce to move forward. Individuals need to prove whether they have the right skills and expertise their clients need, whether their approach can match how their customers hope to work, as well as how well they think they would work together with them. Also, as mentioned above, individuals need to clarify the cost structure that hiring a particular legal counsel would entail.