Divorce is rarely a pleasant set of circumstances, regardless of your feelings towards your former spouse. Add to that the legal mess that can arise when it comes down to who gets the dog and which CD belongs to whom, and you’ve got a recipe for absolute disaster. The unfortunate inevitability of pulling in the lawyers can also seem like a daunting prospect particularly if you’ve never had to deal with legal matters before. When you’ve lived with your spouse for a number of years the shift to legal dealings can seem a bit cold, but nevertheless it’s the best way to resolve the situation to ensure fair dealings all round.
Before you call on the divorce attorney, the best thing to do is to try and communicate with your former spouse on a civil level in order to divide your existing assets and reach an amicable conclusion – this will avoid the hassle and expense of going through court, not to mention the bitter taste the judicial process can leave.
Even if you do manage to work something out there is still the little factor of the court separation, meaning you will both require some form of legal representations even if it is to rubber stamp the arrangements you’ve already made. When it comes down to choosing your lawyer, if you don’t already have one, here’s a few things you should consider to make the most of your situation:
- Qualifications – Is your attorney fully qualified to practice in your jurisdiction?
- Experience – Is your attorney experienced in dealing with divorce cases? Not all lawyers are divorce attorneys, so make sure whoever you choose has a specialism in family law.
- Expectations – There’s never any harm in asking a prospective attorney what he can expect to achieve on your behalf. Remember though, don’t just go with what you want to hear. Ask for a run-down of the law and what you can expect as a likely outcome.
- Price – Never seek the advice of an attorney blind. Ask upfront how much you’re going to have to pay for his or her services, and ask for a fixed project price rather than an hourly rate where possible.
Remember – a divorce attorney is there to serve your needs. And whilst it might be more important to vet your choice if you require legal negotiations prior to the case, it’s still a good idea to make sure your dealing with someone who ticks all the boxes.