Unfortunately, many people are forced to deal with divorce, a process that represents the end of a marriage. Whether they go through a contested divorce or the situation is relatively amicable, it is still a difficult situation for most people to handle. Fortunately, divorce help is available and getting proper legal assistance can make an otherwise unpleasant situation much easier to handle. Divorce isn’t easy but learning how to pick the right divorce lawyer can make the process less painful and less emotionally wearing. Filing for divorce with kids must also be handled delicately throughout the process….And divorce lawyers give free consultations to clients!
A Divorce Lawyer Can Make the Process Easier!
Ignoring the obvious not knowing the law the way an experienced divorce lawyer does, the process itself can be complex and overwhelming (and the court system doesn’t make it exactly ‘user-friendly’). All court houses – even within the same state – may very likely handle the process of filing, having a spouse served, and setting a court date in a different manner. This is just one (minor) reason why divorce lawyer should be the primary resource to use when ending a marriage.
Divorce Lawyers Know the Law
Whether the divorce is uncontested or whether it is a fight, a divorce lawyer will have to know how the law makes people divide property and other assets, determine whether spousal support is warranted, and iron out child custody and child support issues. All of these have their own difficult laws and rules which need to be followed or even an agreed divorce will get tossed out by the judge.
Divorce Laws with Kids
There is often no battle in court that can be harder fought than one involving child custody and parenting time. In some states, this is called child custody and visitation, but it can also be called guardianship or allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. When there is a fight over child custody issues, the law is clear in virtually every state that a standard known as “the best interests of the child” should be followed.
This “best interests” standard applies numerous factors to the facts of each individual case so that a judge can make a determination as to who should have the kids and when. This is NOT a simple 1-2 step process – it likely involves months of investigation by a child representative and no 1-factor decides. However, a divorce lawyer can begin to set his/her client on a path to success by explaining how these factors work and what to do so that the facts fall on the clients side of the fence, positioning him/her for victory.
Even if the divorce and child custody portion is agreed and there is no fight, many people have their agreement thrown out by a judge when they proceed without an attorney (known as “pro-se”). People that agree, might think a parenting plan can say something like: “Father may have visitation on a weekly basis whenever the parties agree” because they have been working together without fighting for a year or two. However, judges will not accept this. There must be a set parenting plan in writing for the judge to approve it. The purpose being that if the nice arrangement the parents have been informally following falls apart, there must be something in writing that they have to follow. The judge does not want people coming back to court because of a bad agreement, so they require it to be written a specific way. This ordinarily requires help from a divorce lawyer.
Divorce Laws and Finances
Whether a person going through divorce has no assets or substantial assets, a Judgment for Dissolution and/or Marital Settlement Agreement must lay out who gets what in specific way for the court to accept it. For a divorcing spouse with substantial assets, services provided by an accountant may also come in handy (and are likely necessary). What if the car is in both parties names, how does this get dealt with? What if a pension or retirement account needs to be divided? These are extremely complex issues that many inexperienced divorce lawyers can’t even handle without help from a more experienced colleague. Dealing with assets (or debts – like credit card debts or repo debts) without proper guidance can impact someone for years.
A Divorce Lawyer Can Help with the Emotional Aspects Too!
Divorce can be a very emotional experience, taking an invisible toll that may manifest in the future. Entering counseling makes it easier to deal with the negative emotions that accompany divorce. A counselor provides coping mechanisms and other techniques for getting through the most difficult times. Many people continue counseling following the conclusion of a divorce so they do not stumble when starting their new lives alone. Divorce lawyers typically work hand in hand with therapists and counselors for a variety of reasons handling divorce cases, so their knowledge as to who to recommend is often better than any other resource imaginable.
Divorce Lawyers Take the Heat
One of the most important way that divorce lawyers help emotionally with their clients is by taking the heat off their client. Rather than have to deal with a spouse attack the other spouse, divorce lawyers frequently tell their clients to say “my lawyer said it has to be this way” so that the heat can be redirected to the professional instead of the client.
Because divorce often involves emotionally charged reasons and decisions being made, the divorce lawyer can cut through the emotional aspect and focus on the law and how the case should proceed quickly. This helps a client that might be emotionally distraught disengage from their emotions as it becomes clear that divorce turns a relationship into a business transaction. Rather than fighting because of hurt feelings (which can lead to orders of protection or lengthening the time to finalize the divorce), a divorce lawyer will provide focus to get you through a difficult time as quickly as possible.
Advice from Divorce Lawyers
Divorce lawyers will tell their clients to seek support and likely follow up throughout the process to make sure their client is emotionally stable and healthy. Normal advice, besides seeking a high-quality therapist, is to have the client talk to trusted friends and family. Family and friends can serve as a very important support system during divorce. Some of them may have been through the process themselves and can provide first-hand experience of the struggles involved. These folks serve as shoulders to cry on and sounding boards when issues arise. Simply spending time with loved ones can reduce the unpleasantness of divorce by causing the individual to focus on good times and a positive future.
Nest Steps – Call a Divorce Lawyer
Speaking with a divorce attorney is essential before beginning the process. And realizing that there are support systems (that will all be recommended by a quality divorce lawyer) that will help. The goal of a divorce lawyer is to both navigate their client through the legal system while also maintaining their client emotionally. Eventually, the divorce will be an event of the past and a new and exciting life will be in the future. The first step is to be guided down the right path and only a divorce lawyer can start the process out on the right foot.