If you’re going through a divorce, it’s understandable that you might be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to start or what to do next. After all, this isn’t something most people plan on happening in their lives, let alone something they have much experience with or knowledge about.
Luckily, there are resources out there for people in your position; including divorce lawyers who are eager to help their clients out, no matter how big or small the problem at hand is.
How to find an attorney
An experienced lawyer is essential for navigating a divorce. You don’t have to hire your first lawyer, but you do need to consult with one before making a final decision. Here are some steps to finding a good attorney—and learning what questions to ask along the way.
What your divorce lawyer can do for you
What to do when you need a divorce lawyer? It is important that you consider all of your options before deciding what action to take during a divorce. Your choices will influence how your divorce unfolds and could mean big changes in where you live, how much child custody arrangements look like, and even who pays for what expenses after your marriage are over.
How much will it cost?
Every case is different, but it can cost hundreds to hire a lawyer, so know your budget. Ask potential lawyers for their hourly fees, and get an estimate of how many hours they think your case will take.
This could give you an idea of what you’ll pay in total. Remember that legal fees don’t include things like court costs or expert witnesses. You may need to pay these extra expenses yourself.
How long will the divorce take?
Every divorce is different, but there are typical patterns. Many people think it takes six months to a year to finalize a divorce, but it’s not uncommon for cases that don’t involve complex property division or litigation to be finalized in as little as three months.
What kind of fees can I expect?
At different stages of a divorce, you’ll need to pay different fees. You’ll also likely be billed for other costs as well, such as copying and postage. It may be helpful to talk with your lawyer ahead of time to set expectations on what you’ll need to pay. Keep in mind that if you don’t pay on time, your lawyer may have to take more drastic measures—like taking you to court—to get paid.
Why should I hire a family law attorney?
A family law attorney should be your first call when facing a divorce. These lawyers know all of their state’s family laws and have experience working with people going through a similar situation as you.
They can take on everything from mediating to representing you in court, if necessary. When it comes to making a difficult time easier, an attorney is worth every penny.
Are there other expenses I should know about?
In addition to property division, child support, and spousal support (alimony), one of your biggest expenses as a divorcing spouse will likely be attorney fees. If you can afford it, hire an attorney—it’s worth every penny. That said, not everyone has $3,000 or more on hand to spend on legal fees, so here are some questions you should ask to make sure you understand what your divorce attorney is doing for you and how much it’s going to cost.
What kind of services does my divorce lawyer provide?
If you are considering filing for divorce, there are many things to think about and decisions to make. To find a divorce lawyer who will best represent your interests, you need to determine what kind of legal services you need.
You might decide that you want your lawyer to assist in gathering documentation or help with deciding how custody of children should be handled or even how marital property should be divided.
What can I expect from my divorce lawyer?
When it comes to a divorce, there are no guarantees. What you want most is for your divorce to be settled quickly and smoothly with minimal damage to your family relationships.
Before hiring an attorney, though, it’s wise to get a sense of how that person works and what he or she thinks about your case. One easy way to do that is to ask some common questions about how he or she practices law.
How do I get started with my divorce case?
You’ve had enough of your partner and want to move on with your life. You realize now that you can’t make it work, but how do you get started? At Easley & Hancock, we always recommend that you meet with a divorce lawyer before filing any paperwork. They can help answer any questions you may have about your case and help give you peace of mind as you begin planning for a new life.