Divorce lawyers do a lot more than just argue for you in court. In fact, that’s more of a “last resort” compared to some of the other, more peaceful methods that they can use.
Upon your first meeting with a divorce lawyer, they’ll be able to look at your situation and let you know if your situation is valid grounds for a divorce. They will also help you identify whether or not divorce is actually the best route to take to achieve your goals.
If you use the mediation route of divorce, hiring a divorce lawyer is your best option. They’ll be neutral, knowledgeable of the current law, and help you settle everything quietly and quickly.
As an expert of divorce law, they’ll help you prepare you for everything you’ll need during the case. Whether you use collaborative divorce methods or litigation, a good lawyer will be able to give you great advice on what to expect, how to proceed, and your chances of getting financial assets and custody of the children.
As you might expect, there is a LOT of paperwork when it comes to divorces. Lawyers and their paralegals do this stuff every day, so they can help you fill out this paperwork much faster than you can alone. They can even do a lot of the paperwork for you if you provide the relevant information.
In the case of litigation, a divorce lawyer will do a lot of research to make sure that they can make a strong case for their client. Employment history, financial assets, criminal behaviour, and just about anything else you can think of will come into play here.
Once the case has been settled, the divorce lawyer will draft the agreement for the couple to sign. This agreement should include everything covered in the divorce including child custody, financial asset distribution, child support and alimony.
Is it Worth the Cost of Hiring a Divorce Lawyer?
To be honest, the answer for a question like this is…
For example, what kind of financial assets are at stake? Does the husband run a multi-million dollar company, with a cushy income while the wife stays at home with the kids?
Does the family live in a tiny apartment that they rent because they don’t have the means to buy something of their own?
Does the couple have any kids? If not, how about much-loved pets? After all, these days some pets are loved as much (if not more!) than kids are.
Every case is different, so let’s take a look at a few different things to consider when comparing your costs and options.
In almost every family, one spouse makes more money than the other. In addition to this income difference, one spouse also tends to have more assets in their name than the other.
For example, in some families, the house and cars are all in the husband’s name. Likewise, he may be the main breadwinner, bringing in as much as 100% of the household income.
In this example, it makes sense for both parties to hire a divorce lawyer. The stay-at-home mom needs a lawyer to get adequate child support and alimony. Likewise, the husband may get a lawyer to help protect him from paying outrageous amounts every single month.
So even though the divorce lawyer isn’t cheap for the short-term, in the long term a good lawyer can pay for themselves 100 times over (or more).
Custody of Children
How much do your kids mean to you? Ten thousand dollars? Twenty thousand?
Obviously most people can’t put a price on their children – being with them is priceless. This is important to think about, because a good divorce lawyer can help ensure that you’ll get custody of your children.
For example, how do you think things would go if, for example, the husband hired a divorce lawyer to get custody of the kids and the wife didn’t? Even though judges tend to lean towards giving custody to the mother many times, it isn’t a guarantee. And since there’s no divorce lawyer to help her case, the mother might lose custody to the better-prepared husband and his lawyer.
Do You Value Your Time?
Remember that lawyers don’t just help you out in court. They do a lot of research for you, fill out paperwork, and even make sure you don’t go to jail from doing something illegal.
Sure, you can try to do everything yourself, but do you really have the time? Most people do not, and even if they do, working on divorce paperwork is probably not at the top of their list of favorite things.
Hiring a divorce lawyer is a financial investment, but you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration guaranteed.
Attorney Fees Matter
Finally, I want to acknowledge that good divorce attorneys are not cheap. Many people are surprised how much it can cost to file for something as “simple” as divorce.
Because attorney fees can vary widely, keep in mind that you may want to do a bit of shopping around before deciding on your lawyer. We’ll talk more about this in the next section, but I still wanted to point it out here.
Don’t go with the bottom-of-the-barrel lawyer. There’s a reason why they’re giving you such a low price! But likewise, you don’t need to go with the most expensive lawyer you can find. Unless there are very significant financial assets at stake, we recommend sticking with a lawyer that you can actually afford!
To Sum it Up…
A divorce lawyer’s job is to do everything they can to make their client happy. Sometimes that means fighting for financial assets or children’s custody in court. Other times it’s simply working with the spouse and their attorney to settle on something peacefully. And it almost always means helping with things like legal paperwork and documentation.
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