Divorce is a tough decision on many levels — emotionally, mentally, financially. However, it’s also something that’s unfortunately fairly common. As of 2012, it was estimated that between 40-50% of marriages ended in divorce. There are any number of reasons why couples might seek a divorce, but in many cases, divorce lawyers are needed to handle the issues. If you’re looking for tips for hiring a divorce lawyer, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll discuss why you need a divorce lawyer in the first place, as well as what to look for in a divorce lawyer when you’re ready to take that step. The right one can make the whole process much easier, less stressful, and less complicated — all good things when you’re going through an already difficult time.
The Steps to Divorce
As stated above, there are countless reasons for people to get divorced. However, the leading cause seems to be infidelity. The Journal of Family Issues reported in a study that infidelity was the top cause for divorce, at almost 22%. Couples therapists also say that half their caseload stems from infidelity, so the previous divorce statistic isn’t surprising.
Age can also play a part — couples who dated for at least three years before getting engaged were almost 40% less likely to get a divorce than couples who dated for under a year before their engagement. This might account for the almost 20% of couples who said they got divorced because they weren’t compatible. People grow and often grow apart.
Drug or alcohol abuse or domestic abuse are a couple of other reasons people might wind up seeking a divorce as well.
Why Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer in the First Place?
You might be wondering why you even need tips for hiring a divorce lawyer in the first place. If it’s a fairly amicable divorce, there won’t be any kind of custody battle, and there are not many assets between you, why bother? However, even if it’s a fairly straightforward, uncontested divorce, a divorce lawyer is still a good idea.
For one thing, the lawyer can make sure that all the divorce papers and legal proceedings are followed exactly, filed on time, and filled out correctly. And they can make sure that whatever settlement or arrangement you come to is beneficial to you. If your former partner has lawyered up, it’s probably important that you do so as well, to protect your interests.
If it’s a contested divorce, there are significant assets involved, charges of domestic abuse, or questions of custody, it’s definitely important to retain a lawyer to protect your interests. They’ll be able to work with you to reach a settlement or arrange mediation or arbitration. Or, if it’s a particularly tough case, they can represent you in court, and argue on your behalf.
They’ll be able to advise you on your options and suggest what course of action is the best one to take in a difficult situation.
Tips For Hiring a Divorce Lawyer Who’s Right For You
One of the best tips for hiring a divorce lawyer is, if at all possible, try to find a personal referral. A personal recommendation sets a high bar, mostly because it means the person referring has likely worked with the lawyer before and had good results.
Do meet with a few different lawyers for consultation to see how you feel around them. In-person meetings can set a much different tone than e-mails or even phone calls. You need to be sure that you can trust this person with difficult and sometimes intimate details.
Divorce is not a fun or easy prospect, but having a divorce lawyer on your side can at least take some of the pressure and stress off, knowing you have a professional on your team who is working in your best interests.