Divorce can be ugly, painful, and very expensive. We all know the horror stories of divorces that have lasted for years and been very contentious. Not only expensive financially, divorce can lead to issues with children and emotional health. When lawyers are involved, they can quickly become a person very disliked. However, it doesn’t have to get to that point. By using the tips below, you can get a divorce without your life being turned upside down.
Get the Right Lawyer
Because lawyers are human, there are some that are good and some that are bad. When you hire a bad lawyer, your divorce and everyone involved will suffer. When you start looking for lawyer, begin by thinking about the following questions:
- Can you easily reach your lawyer directly?;
- When you meet with a lawyer for an initial consultation, take a good look around. Is the lawyer messy or disorganized? Can you see other client files and information?;
- Does the lawyer have a written client agreement with specific explanation of fees, rights and obligations?;
- Does the lawyer practice family law exclusively or do they have a general practice? Divorce is complicated and you need a lawyer who practices family law specifically; and
- What is the lawyer’s typical caseload?
If you want to save money and you want to maintain more balance and control of your life during the divorce process, avoid going to court. Court should always be your last resort. Always try other means of getting to the goal of absolute divorce. Negotiation, mediation, and settlement conferences are good ways to try to work things out without having to get the court involved. Litigation is not only expensive, but also mentally and emotionally difficult. It may be impossible to avoid, but try to work things out first before resorting to going to court.
Get Legal Advice Before Hiring a Mediator
Mediators cannot give legal advice. Their only role in a divorce is to help people come to an agreement. However, in helping you reach an agreement, they may help you agree to something you would not have agreed to without having legal insight. So while a mediator can be very effective in the divorce process, make sure you talk to a lawyer first so that your best interests can be discussed.
Make Sure You Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis
With all the emotions and stress during divorce it can be easy to make decisions that aren’t made with a clear mind. Make sure to sit down and go over everything with a cost-benefit perspective. That way, you can avoid making rash decisions.
Know Your Priorities
Sometimes during divorce, priorities change for the parties involved. It is helpful to review your priorities on a regular basis so that you keep in mind what matters most to you. Keep your lawyer informed and if your priorities do change, make sure your lawyer knows!
Being flexible during divorce will make life a lot easier for you. Knowing your priorities and being flexible about your wants and needs can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
Stay Active in Your Case
Your divorce is too important to just be handed off to someone else to take care without you. Stay in touch with your lawyer and make sure you know what’s going on with your case as often as you can. Make sure your lawyer wants you to be involved and they want to keep you informed. Find out how accessible your file is with your lawyer. Involved clients have much less anxiety and are able to positively affect the outcome of their divorce.
Research the laws regarding divorce, either at the library or on the internet. Our website is a great resource for you to use to learn about the divorce process. As corny as it may sound, knowledge really is power. The more you know, the more effectively you can communicate with your lawyer and in negotiations with your spouse.