A divorce lawyer is an attorney who specializes in family law, handling a wide variety of issues from divorce, annulment and legal separation to child custody, support, visitation rights and more. A divorce can take weeks or months to become final, depending on whether it is a “fault” or “no-fault” divorce, contested or uncontested or a simplified divorce. The scope of legal issues to be settled and the amount of conflict to mediate determines how long it takes for a divorce to be granted.
If you’re thinking you don’t need a lawyer to handle what seems to you a “cut and dried” process, you may want to reconsider. While it is not required that you retain an attorney, there are complex issues and a long paper trail to get through, and it can be an emotionally grueling battle. A divorce lawyer is an expert in current law and has experience and skills that you don’t have. It is to your advantage to speak with an attorney before you do anything else.
A very important part of the divorce process is separating assets fairly. Sometimes a spouse will try to claim poverty, having no assets of value, when in fact he or she is hiding those assets in a secret bank account or location. If you suspect your spouse is doing this, a divorce lawyer has the training at finding hidden assets, no matter how or where your spouse may have hidden them.
Your attorney will negotiate in your behalf as your proxy, negotiating with your spouse’s lawyer to obtain the best divorce settlement possible for you. You can avoid all of the emotionally draining confrontations and discussions while having confidence things are being handled in the best way.
Negotiations will include evaluating any settlement offers that your spouse’s attorney may present. While you may now just want it to all just go away as quickly as possible, and do not feel you have the emotional reserves to deal with it all, you should stand your ground and insist on your fair share. Having done this many times, a divorce lawyer understands, and can help you through it.
Right now you might not be thinking about the future, such as provisions for the children to go to college, or making sure they have health insurance or other sufficient needs. Your divorce lawyer understands what you’re going through, and will offer sound advice based on experience that will benefit you, and help to avoid regrets and hardship later on.
It is within the divorce lawyer’s capabilities to calculate and argue for spousal and child support. This can be and often is a complicated part of divorce negotiations. You may not have a good understanding of finances and accounting, and with your family’s financial future on the line, you can benefit from the divorce attorney who figures this all out for you. If there are issues regarding support, your divorce lawyer will know the best ways to argue for more (or less) support, depending on your circumstances.
There are many legal issues attached to divorce that most people aren’t aware of. Most of us don’t get married believing it will end in divorce, so we just didn’t consider these things. There are complex issues that only a divorce lawyer will be able to handle in a dissolution proceeding. An attorney will anticipate any potential problems and be able to get ahead of them and ensure the most favorable outcome.
Your lawyer will take the reins and guide you through the entire experience. He will handle the mountains of paperwork and keep track of deadlines and court appointments. All you have to do is provide information, gather documents (such as pay stubs and tax returns), sign paperwork and show up when you need to.
Hiring a competent, experienced divorce lawyer is a smart move. You will be able to avoid most of the time-consuming and emotionally stressful proceedings. Having someone represent you just makes sense. Even in an amicable dissolution of marriage, having a professional, experienced attorney to represent your interests will ensure you don’t encounter any surprises in the fine print.
Craig Divine of Divine Law Office, LLC, is an experienced, established divorce lawyer in Kansas City. For an appointment to meet with Craig to go over your concerns, call 816-474-2240 today.