Choosing a divorce lawyer near me with enough experience and trust will help you reduce the stress that this process can cause. Her lawyer must defend her interests at all times, so she must be a great negotiator and, if she goes to court, have enough experience.
10 Tips you should know if you need a divorce attorney
Are you thinking that I need a lawyer to get a divorce? Consider a divorce as practically a business. And as in most businesses, not everyone plays fair.
It is possible that the lawyer you consult does not provide you with all the information you need to come out of your marital breakdown in good standing . To avoid surprises at the most inopportune moments, take a look at the following tips that will be useful when hiring a divorce lawyer.
#1 Most attorneys allow you to negotiate their fees.
Not all divorce attorneys near me will be willing to negotiate their fees, especially if they apply standard or fixed rates. However, if the rate is hourly, you may be willing to consider reducing the cost of other services that will surely apply to you, such as printing costs, mileage…
#2 It is very possible that your divorce will be expensive, hire cheap divorce attorney.
At the time of divorce, the anger and grudges between the spouses are expensive in the United States .
The cost of a contested divorce can be between $15,000 and $30,000 . These amounts, depending on your economic capacity, can leave you with one hand in front and another behind. For your own good, try to reach an agreement as soon as possible with your ex-partner.
A good way to reduce the costs of a divorce is alternative dispute resolution , such as arbitration or mediation. A lawyer with experience in divorce mediation will be much cheaper.
#3 Organize your divorce from the beginning.
Most divorce lawyers charge by the hour and since their fees are often high, it is highly recommended that you organize your divorce as well as possible .
Find and keep all the documentation that you think will be useful in your marriage breakup. Make copies of all family financial documentation, property titles, family documents, etc.
#4 Try to come to terms with your spouse.
For your financial and personal health, try to reach an agreement with your spouse . In addition, this has added benefits such as the relationship between the two will not end up cracking.
A traumatic divorce will complicate everything to an unpleasant degree for all parties.
# 5 Review and study the bills that your lawyer gives you.
I don’t want to tell you that your lawyer is acting in bad faith. However, if the divorce process takes longer, it is possible that unexpected bills arrive at your house .
To the hours that your lawyer says it took him to take your case, which if they are not excessive and not very credible you will have to accept, you have to add expenses for printing documentation, payments for mileage to court, payments for time spent on the phone with you ..
Trust me, review them and if you have any doubts, ask your lawyer about them.
#6 The initial fee your attorney charges you is not the final bill.
If your attorney asks for an advance, keep in mind that it is just that, an advance. Whatever you call it (initial retention, initial fee…) other expenses will be added to that.
Ask what expenses are covered by the first payment you make . If you pay with it the entire process or is it just the beginning of future bills that will arrive at your home.
#7 Think about it before starting a new relationship.
Indeed, depending on the state you live in and the applicable family law, consider getting a divorce before starting a new relationship .
In many states, a fault divorce can be proven in multiple ways. An email, computer logs, call logs, mails or other communications can prove your infidelity.
Therefore, I advise you to get a divorce before promising eternal love to another person outside of your marriage.
#8 Beware of overly effusive lawyers.
Warming up to your spouse and legal representative is not beneficial to anyone. If we are talking about contested divorces in which you normally go to court, making consistent decisions in which we empathize with your spouse will save you time and money .
Keep in mind that if you and your lawyer make irrational decisions, giving importance to things that do not have it and lengthen the process too much. you may end up paying your and your spouse’s attorney fees, if the court deems it so.
#9 Meet with the best lawyers as soon as possible.
One strategy many people use that is perfectly legal (albeit unethical) is to meet with the best “near me” divorce attorneys as soon as possible .
Having a first consultation with a lawyer makes this professional incapable of representing your spouse if he goes to see the same lawyer after you due to a conflict of interest.
In addition to this, attending several consultations will help you choose the one that you think will best handle your case.
#10 A good lawyer usually charges by the hour.
It is normal that when we look for a lawyer we want to know the expenses that it will entail from the beginning. With hourly charging, expenses can skyrocket even above our expectations, which nobody likes.
If your divorce process is long and labor intensive, your attorney will be less willing to work the necessary hours. This can be expensive in the end.
Do you want a quick divorce? These are the reasons you can allege
There are several ways you can get a divorce in a short period of time. The best way is undoubtedly to reach an agreement with your spouse, since if he challenges the divorce, the process will be irremediably lengthened.
Regardless of whether or not you reach an agreement, when you file the petition for divorce, you must indicate the reasons for which you request it.
Here are some of the grounds accepted by most states for filing for divorce:
- Adultery with people of the opposite sex.
- Desertion. They must have been absent for more than 2 years out of the last 2.5 years for this to apply.
- Mental incapacity at the time of marriage
- Marriage between close relatives .
- Impotence at the time of marriage
- Force or fraud in obtaining the marriage
- Mental illness
- Criminal conviction and/or imprisonment
- physical or mental abuse
- Drug or alcohol addiction
- Separation for 5 years or more.
Keep in mind that although all of these reasons are valid to request a divorce, it is advisable to reach an agreement with the other party before filing the petition.
I advise you to consult with your lawyer before filing your petition for divorce so that your spouse and the judge ultimately accept the alleged reason.
Is it necessary to hire a lawyer in an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce is understood as one in which the two parties agree on the terms of the divorce (child custody, alimony, distribution of assets). These types of divorce will save you time and money in court proceedings.
In these types of divorces it is not necessary to have the legal help of a lawyer, although it is advisable to do so.
If you are wondering how do I find a divorce lawyer and what they will do for you, they will help you review your agreement to make sure your rights and interests are protected. He will also make sure there are no mishaps and the court accepts the settlement.
What cases do divorce attorneys near me handle?
Most family divorce lawyers handle different types of cases. The most common types of cases would be the following;
- Legal separations.
- Military divorce.
- Divorces between people of the same sex.
- Marriage annulments.
- Premarital agreements.
- Child custody/guardianship.
- Child support.
- Alternative conflict resolution.
- Property division.
- Legal advice on your claim.
In most cases, difficult decisions will have to be made that affect the lives of both spouses and especially their children, if they have any. Disputes on issues related to the custody of children or marital property are best handled with someone who understands you in your own language.
More and more divorce attorneys are fluent in Spanish due to the growing importance of the Hispanic community in the United States. The professionalism of these lawyers is comparable to that of divorce lawyers who only speak English and in some cases even higher. Therefore, language should not be an impediment when choosing a divorce lawyer .
Options other than hiring a “near me” divorce attorney
Not every time someone gets divorced they necessarily have to resort to the services of a divorce lawyer . However, despite the fact that they are not necessary, it is always a good idea to review the agreement to ensure that there are no legal risks.
– 1 – Collaborative divorce.
With collaborative agreement we refer to the agreement between the spouses not to litigate and seek conciliation.
Keep in mind that if you decide to hire a collaborative practice attorney, they will only agree to work with another similar attorney. In fact, your divorce attorney will have you sign an agreement that if no agreement is reached and litigation is necessary, you will need to find another professional.
– 2 – Representation of limited scope.
You can hire an attorney just to help you review the agreement and make sure that you will not have legal problems of any kind.
You may also hire an attorney to advise you on reaching a fair settlement, accompany you through mediation, draft the settlement, file for divorce, or other specific representation.
These types of specific services usually have a pre-established fixed rate.
– 3 – Divorce mediation.
In this case, mediators, unlike lawyers, can work for both spouses at the same time , which will reduce costs and communication time between both parties.
Because mediators are neutral agents and do not defend or fight for the interests of either party, they are often more successful than lawyers in reaching an agreement.
Using divorce mediation is the fastest and cheapest way to get a divorce.
A mediator will not tell us what to do, but will propose solutions that both spouses can accept . This way the divorce process will be more likely to be successful.
Other types of divorce
There are other types of divorce that are very different from each other that you should know before embarking on a path of no return (in most cases). As you can imagine, all the divorce lawyers near me must know all the types of divorces and the best strategy to follow in each one of them .
#1 Contested Divorce.
This is the kind of conventional divorce. It is the one that we can see in the series in which both spouses argue heatedly, each one with his lawyer and the whole process ends before a judge.
Although it is not necessary to go to court in all cases, the settlement is often complicated. A contested divorce usually occurs when the marital estate is high and there are many interests involved .
#2 Divorce by default or default.
In this case the divorce is understood in absentia. That is, one of the spouses files the request in court and the other spouse does not respond because he is missing.
Arbitration is used when a couple divorces, does not reach an agreement but still does not want to go to court . In arbitration, both spouses submit to an “arbitrator” who listens to the stories of both parties and makes a decision as if it were a judge.
#4 No-fault and at-fault divorce.
For a long time it has been necessary for the spouse who wanted to divorce and presented the procedure in court to prove that the other spouse was at fault for causing the divorce. The reasons admitted were abuse, abandonment, extreme cruelty or adultery .
Today, no-fault divorce is offered in most states. In a no-fault divorce, instead of having to prove that one of the spouses is at fault for the breakup, it is only necessary to tell the court that there are “irreconcilable differences” between the two spouses to proceed with the process.
Unfortunately, there are still states where it is necessary to prove the fault of the other spouse such as Arizona, Arkansas and Louisiana.
The following are questions that clients often ask when consulting divorce lawyers.
1. What are the fees for an attorney in an uncontested divorce?
Even if you and your spouse agree to all the terms of the divorce, an attorney’s fee will range from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on your state of residence.
2. How much advance do divorce lawyers usually ask for?
If you have not previously reached an agreement with your spouse, divorce lawyers will ask for an advance to represent you that will range between $2,000 and $5,000 .
3. Do I have to tell all my secrets to my divorce lawyer?
It is obvious that your lawyer is not your confessor but if you do not want to have unpleasant surprises in the future you should tell him all the most important facts related to your marriage.
4. Does it cost anything to file for divorce?
The costs for filing a divorce petition vary from state to state and county to state.
The price of the request usually ranges between $300 and $500 approximately in states with more purchasing power, such as California.
5. I do not have funds to pay for a divorce, what do I do?
If you are convinced that you cannot afford the fees of a divorce lawyer , you should look for a cheap or even free divorce lawyer .
To do this, you can look for federally funded legal representation programs or find pro bono attorneys through nonprofit organizations.
6. How long does the divorce process take?
Divorce proceedings can be completed in a few weeks if you agree with your spouse on the terms of the divorce. However, if the details of the divorce cannot be agreed upon, the process can take months or even years .
Everything will depend on the date of the court hearing and if one of the spouses decides to appeal the decision made by the judge.