Hiring a divorce attorney can seem like trying to choose a dentist: You want someone qualified and experienced in the field but also reasonably priced. Unfortunately, there’s no real guarantee that your divorce attorney will be excellent; oftentimes, he or she will simply try to get more for their fees by trying to represent you in court more often and using tactics that aren’t in your best interest. There are ways, however, that you can ensure that your divorce attorney will provide you with a quality service and that includes choosing one that charges for its services. We’re not talking about using a company that will simply bill you for hours of legal services; we’re talking about choosing an attorney that charges for the retainer. If you can find an attorney who charges for the initial consultation as well as a portion of your final fees upfront, you’ll pay less in the long run.
Divorce attorneys are different from, say, physicians-they doesn’t practice just for themselves. Many family law attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that if they win your case and you don’t repay the money you hired them for, you don’t have to pay out of pocket. The contingency part of hiring a divorce attorney, however, isn’t exclusive to high-priced professionals; many individuals are electing to hire a lawyer to help them settle their divorce agreement. In these cases, you must have a fully informed partner in your battle with your spouse.
Another reason to make sure that you hire a divorce attorney, instead of a mediator or family mediator, is because the mediators and family mediators can’t offer you any sort of perspective other than the one offered by their clients. They offer you their opinion only, and as a result, you may learn things about your true situation that you wouldn’t learn otherwise. For instance, what you may have thought was a major asset for one spouse may be a liability for the other. If you have a mediator, on the other hand, you’ll learn all about what you should do with that asset (i.e., sell it, give it to someone else) before your divorce gets filed, rather than after.
Finally, hiring an attorney for your divorce case isn’t just a good idea; it’s critical. Not only will your lawyer help you devise an agreement that is fair to you and your spouse, but he or she will also be able to make sure that you’re properly represented during the entire legal process. Divorce lawyers specialize in all kinds of law, after all. Divorce attorneys not only know the laws of the state in which they practice, but they also have expertise in civil litigation, criminal litigation, family law, and more. As such, they will be better able to represent your best interests during this difficult and emotionally draining time. You may never need the services of another lawyer besides your attorney, but it’s well worth getting one just to protect your interests.
These are three reasons why hiring a divorce attorney can be so important for you and your family. Of course, you have the choice of hiring just an attorney. In many states, you cannot obtain legal representation without first undergoing an attorney selection process. While this can be an inconvenience, it can be a money saver. Hiring just an attorney through the court system allows you to move forward confidently and efficiently.
Beyond these three main reasons, there isn’t much else to say. Again, having a family law attorney to help you through the divorce process will make things smoother for you and your spouse. As always, though, you should always ensure that your spouse follows his or her legal obligations unless the judge says otherwise.