A divorce is a complex process, with many things to be handled, from dividing assets to the custody of children. If you are getting a divorce, know that you do not have to take it all by yourself. Having a lawyer by your side can help you address all the thorny issues, making the process a lot easier.
How a Divorce Attorney Can Save You Time and Money
The grounds for divorce must be stated (cause). An uncontested divorce is legal in all 50 states and DC. Couples can declare irreconcilable differences, also known as irreversible or irremediable divorce. Any one of these factors can irreparably harm a marriage. It’s best to focus on the reasons for the split. Dissolution of marriage is required in some states.
Some states still allow couples to file for divorce based on fault, meaning one of the parties caused the marriage to fail. Addiction to drugs and alcohol is widespread. Your spouse’s bad behavior must be proven to the court for a divorce.
A local family law attorney can help you determine if the benefits outweigh the costs, stress, and conflict with your ex.
When parents divorce and have minor children, custody issues arise. Joint custody refers to both parents having equal time with their children in terms of physical custody. There must be explicit agreement on who pays, how much, and how often. It’s best for the kid. Parents who can’t agree on anything have to go to mediation or have a judge decide.
When you receive divorce papers from your spouse’s lawyer, you should consult an attorney. You’ll need to do lots of research because divorce and family law laws vary by state. Petite paperwork errors can have considerable consequences in family law. Divorce is a sensitive subject, so avoid working with a novice family law attorney. You need an experienced attorney who can explain your legal rights and responsibilities and advocate for you.
When a couple of divorces, their “marital property” must be split equally. In a community property state, a couple’s assets are split 50/50. This is a 50/50 split except when one spouse is irresponsible with money or incurs family-harming debts. In most cases, an adultery court orders the “guilty” spouse to compensate the “innocent” spouse. You should both agree on what constitutes marital property, its value, and how it is divided. Only a mediator or lawyer can decide.
In some states, higher-income spouses support lower-income or jobless spouses. In many forms, each with a distinct function. After the divorce, the lower-earning spouse receives interim alimony payments to help pay for basic needs.
A divorce finalizes alimony. This type of plan is intended to help long-term marriages where one partner has financial resources, but the other does not. Don’t go to court unless you and your ex-spouse agree on alimony terms.
When You May Need a Divorce Attorney
Divorce involves many issues that must be addressed. Understandably, tackling these issues can be difficult. Court hearings can last several hours and involve much paperwork. Because the divorce process involves so many variables, it is critical to work with an attorney who has handled divorce cases at all stages.
You can handle your divorce alone if your situation is simple and you and your spouse agree on the significant issues. In some cases, hiring an attorney right away is required. Anyone with a history of abuse should hire an attorney to protect their rights. An agreement may be challenging to reach when there is a power imbalance and animosity.
If your spouse does, you should too. When one party is represented by an attorney and the other is not, the unrepresented party is more likely to lose. Hire an attorney to level the playing field.
Intimidating spouse threatens physical or financial harm if you go through with the divorce. If you can’t stand your spouse anymore, you may need an attorney. Having a divorce lawyer on your side will protect your rights and reduce the stress of the divorce process.
Depending on the issues involved, mediation may be an option. Meditation works even when spouses disagree fundamentally. Couples can sometimes talk to a mediator and handle their cases. Occasionally a spouse should hire a mediator’s assistant to help them behind the scenes.
Collaborative law and mediation are two alternatives to traditional divorce. Even if the goal is to avoid court, the process is very different. Parties must hire collaborative divorce lawyers trained in collaborative law and agree not to court. Due to the potential financial burden, it’s critical to educate yourself on collaborative divorce.
A lawyer may be required in some cases. For example, spouses who have been subjected to domestic violence often need legal representation. Consult an attorney if you suspect your spouse is hiding assets or misusing marital funds.
How to Choose the Right Attorney
Choosing the right divorce lawyer is crucial. If you want significant representation in your divorce or legal separation in Indiana but aren’t sure where to start, the following suggestions can help.
You must first research the best lawyer. To begin, ask for recommendations from friends and family. Inquire about the services of trusted family, neighbors, or coworkers. Contact your state’s bar association to find attorneys who specialize in your field. Many online review sites allow you to read about other people’s experiences with a specific lawyer.
It’s time to evaluate your list of potential attorneys. Generally, most lawyers offer free initial consultations to their clients. Take notes during each appointment to compare your list. Make sure the legal separation attorney you choose is knowledgeable in the area of law you need help with. The legal profession covers many areas, with most lawyers concentrating on one or two.
Before hiring a lawyer, ask about their fees. When you first meet with a lawyer, ask for an estimate based on the facts of your case. Some lawyers hire paralegals or subcontract work to other lawyers. It’s critical to know who will handle your case because it affects both the quality and cost of service.
How should you contact them if you have questions? How quickly do they respond? Please make sure the lawyer you hire is aware that they will be handling multiple cases concurrently. Another factor is the lawyer-client chemistry. Do you trust this lawyer? Will my concerns and questions be heard?
Once you’ve chosen a lawyer, check with the state attorney’s office to see if the lawyer has been disciplined. The number of state bar associations varies from state to state. After completing this examination, you should have all the information to decide your legal representation.