Searching for a Divorce Lawyer? Lets Get Started

Going Through a Divorce is Hard on all Parties. Follow the Tips Below for Planning Your Divorce and Finding a Reputable Divorce Attorney

If you are planning on getting a divorce or have already started pursuing the divorce process, hiring the right lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. If your divorce is uncontested, then you will likely only require the assistance of a divorce lawyer for the preparation of paperwork and any side contracts agreed to by you and a former spouse. If the divorce is contested, then an attorney may be necessary for managing assets, preparing for trial and dealing with a difficult former spouse.

As you search for a divorce attorney, you should understand the types of matters he or she handles. Not every divorce attorney handles contested divorce cases. Some attorneys may only handle relatively straightforward divorce arrangements that are agreed upon by both spouses. In addition, if you choose to handle the divorce on your own, you should still consider consulting a professional to make sure you cover all aspects of the divorce process.

Review the Fee Agreement

Before you hire a divorce lawyer, you should always carefully read through the fee arrangement. You should determine whether a divorce lawyer charges a flat fee or uses “billable hours”. Many lawyers who handle uncontested divorces will charge a flat fee for filing the appropriate paperwork with the family law court. Other attorneys who handle drawn-out divorces may use “billable hours”, and this can significantly increase the cost of hiring a lawyer for your divorce case. (review common divorce costs) The attorney may charge you for each communication throughout the case, such as a short email or phone call that you make to the attorney. Before you hire a divorce lawyer, you may want to inquire about whether regular communications with the attorney will rack up fees for your case.

Equitable Distribution & Time-Sharing Matters

If you have significant assets, you may require the assistance of a divorce lawyer for managing your assets, devising a contract or for preparing for trial. The divorce lawyer may know of legal ways in which you can manage assets to protect them from an angry former spouse. Your former spouse may want to try to gain ownership of a home, inheritance funds or other assets that should not be subject to equitable distribution. A divorce lawyer can create special trusts and other instruments that protect your assets from the hands of a former spouse. The attorney may also be able to assist you in creating a separate agreement for the distribution of assets. If both spouses agree to the contract, then you may not have to worry about a judge distributing your assets under community property laws or an equitable distribution scheme.

Divorce attorneys may also be able to assist you in handling child custody matters. If you suspect that a former spouse may speak poorly about your parenting skills in front of a judge, you may want to hire a divorce lawyer who has experience in preparing for this type of situation.

Where to Find Attorney References

The American Bar Association (ABA) and State Bar Associations

If you are searching for a divorce lawyer with one of the specialties listed above, you can search through databases maintained by the ABA and state bar associations to find the right attorney. Simply calling or emailing attorneys to inquire about whether they handle post-marital agreements, equitable distribution or time-sharing matters will help you find the right lawyer. The ABA can also make you aware of whether a divorce lawyer is in good standing and has an active license.

References from Friends and Family

Friends and family may also be able to recommend reputable divorce attorneys for your case. Asking a recently divorced friend or family member for advice on hiring a lawyer can also help you find a hard-working and reputable lawyer for your case.