Divorce & Separation Lawyers Attorney Family Law
Even though some statistics show divorce numbers going down over the last 10 years, it is still something that affects too many families across the country. Divorce not only affects the husband and wife deciding to end their marriage, but also their children, their money, their property, even their future lives alone.
Choosing a divorce attorney to best represent you takes time and careful thought. You can start by asking close friends or family members, who have been divorced for their recommendations. If they are not able to help you, then you can always contact The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers or The American Bar Association, both are professional organizations that offer lawyer referral services. (Be sure to ask for 2 or 3 lawyers whose expertise is in Family Law.)
What to look for when choosing an Attorney to represent you in your divorce:
· A lawyer who practices family (or matrimonial) law
· Someone who is willing and able to work with other professionals that may be needed to evaluate assets or property, or other aspects that could affect the outcome
· Has experience and has been practicing family law for some time and is knowledgeable of the current laws
· Is skilled at negotiating….sometimes you can settle your case outside of court saving time and money
· Is ethical and reasonable…sometimes a good lawyer tells us what we need to know, not what we want to hear
· Is compatible with you…you must be able to respect and be honest with your attorney, and they must be able to do the same
· Choose a Specialist – choose a lawyer who has experience with your specific concerns: custody, child support, bankruptcy, property division….not all divorces are the same.
In addition to asking questions and making sure the lawyer you choose has the proper credentials, you should also supply them with information about yourself at the first meeting, so that they can decide if they can help you as well:
· Why are you divorcing – a lawyer needs to know the reasons you are breaking up the marriage (infidelity, abuse, irreconcilable differences…)
· Personal information – full names (you, your spouse, children) and dates of birth, telephone numbers, addresses, places of employment, social security numbers, green card or immigration paperwork (if applicable)
· Facts about your marriage – when and where did you get married? Have you been married before? (and bring details of that marriage), was there a prenuptial agreement?(bring a copy of it)
· Custody concerns – Do you have children? Have you thought about or discussed who they will live with and how they will be supported?
· Financial information – What assets and debts did you each bring into the marriage and what are they currently? What property do you own? How much income does each person provide? What has been the family budget (broken down according to money spent on food, clothing, entertainment, housing, vacations etc)?
· Legal documents – Make sure you bring copies of any lawsuits, bankruptcies, garnishments, liens and judgments
· Goals – what do you ultimately want from your divorce?
As with any profession, there are some lawyers who will do a good job and others who won't. Take your time when deciding on hiring a divorce attorney. In the end, it could save you a lot of time and a lot of money.
The following information is not intended as legal advice or legal representation. It is provided for informational and educational purposes only.
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