Legal Divorce Lawyer
In the United States, your odds of getting married and staying that way forever are just about even. This divorce rate means that there is a lot of money to made in from working for clients who want to the best possible
outcome from a parting of ways-and, consequently, there are a lot of attorneys who want to get at it.
When competing for new business, it may behoove lawyers not to impart everything that their schooling and experience has taught them to prospective clients. That is partly because some of what they know is not what a client wants to hear and painting an optimistic picture of the outcome can secure new business. What’s more, they might know something that, if they shared it with a new client, could negatively affect their bottom line. Below are twenty secrets that a divorce lawyer may not want to share with you.
1. It is going to cost more than you bargained for It is not always the case—but more often than not, the costs associated with your divorce will often be higher than your lawyer’s original estimate. Contested divorces cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000, though there are plenty of ways to limit the staunch the outward flow of cash before and during the process. A key part is to keep an open mind and focus on tomorrow’s opportunities rather than yesterday’s injustices.
2. That legal costs may compel you to live very frugally No one wants to lead by asking you to make some dramatic cuts in your expenditure, but you would do well to take a long, cold look at your cash flow and think of ways to make some significant changes if need be. Seeing a big dip in the manner to which you’ve become accustomed is dispiriting, but it’s better to temporarily cut corners in your lifestyle than be represented by a bargain basement lawyer who could miss opportunities in getting you a favorable outcome.
3. That you may have to accept responsibility for the divorce Fault-based divorce is when one spouse committed an act that gives legal justification to the ending of the marriage. These acts include adultery, a felony conviction, cruelty, or desertion. If you are the spouse that committed one of these acts, it could have a negative impact for you on things like child custody and the division of property, depending on local laws. It’s important to prepare for this scenario and attempt to determine all defenses available to you. 4. That you’ll save money and heartache by being organized Divorce lawyers often charge by the hour. If you take responsibility for being as organized as possible, not only are you likely to walk away from your marriage with a more acceptable outcome, you’ll probably save some money too. One of the best and simplest ways to do that is to start a divorce file. In this file, keep every bit of paper that could have an effect on how your divorce proceedings. Gather copies of all important financial documents and access to all account information. Keep it organized and easy to navigate. You’re going to need it all. 5. That you should be wary of hearing too much “yes” too soon Some lawyers are going to tell you what you want to hear, “yessing” you all the way to signing a retainer agreement. It may be that you have a very strong case, but there are no guarantees. Keeping this in mind will help you through this challenging process, spur you on to get organized, and retain a divorce lawyer who will candidly review your options and provide realistic probability of success based on the unique facts of your case. 6. That solo practitioners may not be able to give you the level of attention you expect from them In any industry, the larger a company is, the bigger volume it’s doing. Divorce law firms are no different, prompting many people to seek a solo practitioner who is more invested in the outcome of your case. Paradoxically, however, if the solo practitioner does not have adequate support staff in his or her office, your case may end up not getting the attention and care you were promised. Be a proactive client to ensure that your case will not take a back seat to others, and that there will be appropriate staff members available to help when your attorney is busy with another larger and possibly more lucrative case. 7. That attorneys’ fees are usually negotiable This doesn’t mean an attorney will always be willing to lower their fees, but they may at least listen to a request to lower their rate, particularly if you have a strong case. While most contingency fee structures are pretty standard, hourly rates, printing costs, and other fees are all on the table for discussion. 8. That you can perform much of your divorce pro se If your divorce is contested then there’s really no way to expect a good outcome without hiring an attorney. If, however, your divorce is uncontested, then you may be able to perform several parts of it on your own (or pro se which is a Latin term that means “for yourself”). An uncontested divorce means that you and your spouse agree child custody, spousal support, child support, visitation, and division of property. If you find that there is no need to fight over these things, you’ve already saved yourself thousands of dollars. You may still decide to retain an attorney, but their role will be limited to the navigation of paperwork and court procedures. You may even be able to draw up your own separation agreement as long as the terms are fair to both parties though it’s advisable to have some degree of professional help as you may be unwittingly waiving rights or obligating yourself to things you didn’t foresee. 9. That it may be beneficial to come to an agreement with your spouse While it may seem difficult, coming to an agreement with your spouse can alleviate a lot of the issues of divorce and it could also save a lot of ugliness down the line. If you have kids and common friends, it’s likely that you and your spouse may be in each other’s lives for years, even decades to come. Those interactions aren’t going to be made easier if one or both of you hired some hard-nosed lawyers and caused each other pain. If you can work it out, you and your spouse can each part ways without feeling taken advantage of by the other. 10. That mediation can be a game-changer Mediation is a process whereby you and your spouse sit down with a neutral third party to negotiate several important areas of divorce. It’s a low-cost way to address practically any other disagreement you and your spouse may have. While the mediator’s decision is not binding, it allows a neutral party to provide their perspective on how divorce related issues should be addressed. However, mediation can only be a useful tool if you and your spouse can come to an broad agreement. 11. That they are hoping you won’t being poring over the details of their invoices Generally, attorneys estimate how long it took them to do certain projects and it’s difficult to call them out on it or verify the length of time they took to do something. Fees per page they print, fees per page they fax, fees for mileage to the courthouse, hourly rates for brief telephone conversations… It all adds up fairly quickly and they are banking on you not digging into the details.
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