Three things to consider doing before filing for divorce: words of advice from a family lawyer

If you are thinking that separation from your spouse and subsequent divorce are in your near future, there are a number of things that you ought to consider before even beginning the process. For this blog post, we asked a family lawyer for some advice on what the three most important things people should do or consider before hiring an attorney. By following these steps, you will better determine whether divorce is right for your current situation, and how to go about the process better. Though this advice may not apply to everyone in every single situation, it should offer a pretty good basis to go off of. For more information on divorce and family law, be sure to contact the talented custody attorneys at the Law Office of John Waters.

  1. The first thing you should do before even considering filing for divorce is to seek help from a marriage counselor. A certified family or marriage counselor, or any other type of qualified therapist or mental health professional may be able to help you save your marriage from certain demise. Many people who have considered divorce in the past found that marriage counseling was helpful in opening the channels of communication necessary to heal and help their marriage function better. This type of counselor or therapy can help you cope with familial problems, explore what might have gone wrong in the relationship, and teach you how to move forward in the relationship, if that is the direction that it goes. Though your spouse may be unwilling to participate, we recommend that you begin right away, as you may find it helpful even on your own. For help finding a qualified therapist, we suggest utilizing your social networks including your employer, your church or temple, people at the gym, or any other social network you deem useful.
  2. The second piece of advice from our family law attorney is to speak with a qualified and reputable divorce attorney before taking any action. It is important that you are well informed and have as much information as possible before even bringing up divorce with your spouse. Divorce and marriage laws are very complex and vary from state to state, so it is important that you speak with someone who understands how the system works. Things that you do prior to the divorce can actually have an impact on the divorce proceeding itself, so be sure you are taking the correct course of actions before diving off the deep end.
  3. Our third piece of advice is in regard to separation. If you feel that separation and moving out of the family home is the thing you need to do, be sure to talk directly with an attorney first. If you move out without good reason, you could be required to pay alimony or you may lose your chance at getting alimony from your spouse. You also may be banned from returning home by the court until after the whole divorce is over. The best plan of action is to stay in the home until after you have consulted with an attorney, unless you feel that you are physically in danger from your spouse.
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Some important information about divorce lawyers

Family law is a set of courts and attorneys that deal directly with divorce and family issues. Divorce attorneys operate a little bit differently than regular lawyers, and there are a lot of things most people do not know about divorce lawyers. This blog post will discuss the top ten things that most people do now know about divorce attorneys.

  1. The first thing that people know is that a divorce lawyer is obligated to represent your best interests. They have a legal obligation to do what is best for your interests, and must put your direct interests above any other factor. What this means that is if you do go to court, the way your lawyer addresses the case must be in your best interests. Likewise, when advising you to take a settlement or not, it also must be in your best interests.
  2. Another thing that most people don’t know is that divorce lawyers work in family court, which is different than other court systems. Family court is a unique and special court that deals with divorce and other family issues. Nine times out of ten, family court is operated by the State, not at a federal level, and is a separate entity from other courts of law including criminal and civil court.
  3. One more thing people don’t know is that some lawyers offer flat fee divorces. If your divorce is simple and you don’t have a ton of assets to divide, this may be a great, money saving option for you.
  4. Divorce attorneys can help you mediate with your spouse, or present your case in court if you need to go to court to make things work. Mediation is the preferred method because it is less expensive overall. It is a good idea to have an attorney present during mediation because they can help keep things in perspective for you, and help keep emotions out of the negotiation. As was previously mentioned, they must represent your interests and make sure you get your fair share of the estate.
  5. Each spouse needs his or her own lawyer when filing a divorce. In order for your lawyer to represent your interests, you must have a separate lawyer from your spouse. It would be unethical for a lawyer to represent both of you.
  6. Divorce lawyers often help with custody disputes between parties. Again, they will represent your best interests and make sure the agreement is fair.
  7. You will be required to pay a retainer and pay hourly fees. Be prepared for steep hourly fees for your divorce. Retainers vary greatly depending on the firm and the complexity of your divorce.
  8. If your divorce is complex, it is very important that you have a good family law attorney to represent your interests. If there is a lot of money at stake, hire a good lawyer.
  9. Most divorce attorneys may not work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they don’t get a contingent share of what you get in the settlement. Because of this, they charge an hourly fee plus a retainer.
  10. Divorce attorneys can help negotiate financial settlements with your spouse and his or her lawyer. Financial settlements are usually the easiest way to go.