One of the most common matters handled by family law attorneys is divorce. Most states have their own laws and rules governing how to handle a divorce, and they can be complex, so preparation is essential. If a dispute escalates into a contested divorce, the lawyer’s role gets much more involved. The various issues involved in a contested divorce can be overwhelming and confusing, but looking at the situation from a lawyer’s point of view, the process can seem clearer. It is important to hire a lawyer to help you understand your rights and responsibilities.
If you are thinking about filing for a divorce, here are some things for you to consider. It is best if the divorce can be handled amicably through mediation or collaborative law, but sometimes spouses just cannot come to an agreement on important issues. In this case, a contested divorce can be filed with the help of legal counsel.
Family Law Issues:
Most family law issues, such as child custody and support, parenting plans, visitation and divorce itself, can be resolved through the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage or legal separation. However, if the matter is far more complex than can be resolved through mediation or collaborative law, fighting over the custody of children and other issues can become contentious. In this situation, a lawyer’s advice can help with negotiations. Most states require a legal separation to be filed before a divorce can be contested.
Divorce itself can be difficult. There are many documents that need to be filed with the court, and the petitioner may have to appear in court to give testimony. Often, the parties have children involved in the divorce, and substantial issues related to custody of those children will need to be resolved. In some cases, the custody of children is subject to court-ordered evaluations. An attorney will help you understand your rights and responsibilities during this process. The lawyer may be able to assist in the preparation of documents, including affidavits, and give advice on strategy. While an attorney has a fiduciary duty to avoid conflicts of interest and will not represent one side against another, he or she should have enough knowledge of both sides’ positions to present good advice to clients when disputes arise.
What Documentation and Questions Should I Gather Before Meeting with a Family Lawyer?
Before you meet with a lawyer, it is important to gather all the relevant paperwork in case there are questions or issues to settle in court. You should have information about your assets and debts, including mortgages and other assets that will be divided after the divorce. You should know how much your spouse makes and how much their income will be when the divorce is final. You will need this information if there are alimony and child support issues. If you have children, you will also need information about their day-to-day living.
Since divorce is a unique and difficult process, it can be hard to figure out exactly how to prepare for the consultation with your family law attorney. Preparation is always important before meeting with an attorney, but it is especially crucial when it involves a contested divorce. An attorney can help you with the legal details of your case, as well as provide advice for negotiations.
What Makes a Family Law Case Strong? What Makes it Weak?
The biggest changes that occur during a divorce are those that occur on the legal side of the case. The legal issues must be considered in addition to the litigious ones. For example, it is important to discuss what effect the pending divorce will have on your finances and investments. If you file for a separation or divorce, you need to consider how it will affect your credit rating and how long it will remain good. Your bank might require a police record check if there are any reports of physical abuse or domestic violence in your past.
There is also some paperwork involved in divorces. This may include documents from the other spouse’s attorney, such as a financial affidavit. Sometimes, it is necessary to provide documentation pertaining to real property. In many cases, the court case can go on for years and getting all this documentation out is easier said than done. It is a good idea to get a lawyer’s feedback on what paperwork you need before you share your case with them so they can assist you with setting up an office and preparing documents properly.
The most important thing to remember when you are preparing your case is that it is an emotional time, not only for you but also for your children. As the case moves forward, the need to remain present in the lives of your children will become more and more important. A lawyer can help you understand how legal issues affect your children and what rights they have in the divorce if they are going to be involved with custody issues.