When to Get a Lawyer for Divorce

Hiring an attorney who specializes in family and divorce law may be in your best interests if you want to seek child custody, support payments or the division of property. When selecting your legal representative make sure he/she has experience dealing with divorce law as well as family matters.

Interview potential attorneys to find one who fits your style and approach best. Some may prefer out-of-court resolution while others take more aggressive approaches.

1. You and your spouse can’t come to an agreement

Even when both parties wish to end their marriage, reaching an agreement on issues like property division, custody arrangements for children, alimony (spousal support) or child support can be difficult. Therefore, many opt for mediation or collaborative divorce in order to find reasonable solutions outside of court.

No matter which legal path you pursue for your divorce, it is crucial that you find an attorney with experience settling cases out of court – this may reduce both time and costs associated with it. Any attorneys you interview should discuss their approach to conflict resolution, while avoid those who advocate zealously for litigation.

If you and your spouse can’t reach an agreement about how to divide up marital property, a judge will make that determination for you – often taking months or years! They’ll also assess whether you qualify for legal separation or divorce proceedings by living apart for at least six months prior to filing paperwork with them.

2. You’re facing a contested divorce

Contested divorce cases often involve disagreement over key matters such as child custody and access, property division, support payments and support payments. Such divorces can become very time-consuming and expensive affairs when issues become complex.

Before filing for divorce, it’s best to attempt a settlement outside of court with your partner, especially if there are children involved. By setting clear goals and needs ahead of time and communicating them to both yourself and your attorney, an effective negotiation strategy can be developed together.

Experienced divorce lawyers are key in successfully handling specific aspects of your case. For example, if there is any disagreement between you and your partner over child or spousal support terms, large financial settlements, or business valuation. It would be prudent to consult an attorney with relevant experience, who will navigate you through the legal system to achieve a favorable result for both sides.

3. You’re filing for divorce in a different jurisdiction

To be eligible to file for divorce in New York, either you or your spouse must fulfill residency requirements. If your marriage took place elsewhere or you live in different states, however, the process can become significantly more complex.

An attorney can assist in identifying which state has jurisdiction to decide matters such as property division, alimony and custody arrangements. Sometimes it may be best to file in the state in which one party resides or children reside.

Lawyers offer more than legal services; they can also review your settlement agreement to ensure it covers all applicable legal issues, help with mediation or collaborative practice alternatives and even assist with limited scope divorce attorney services for flat fee costs that can help speed up proceedings. A good divorce lawyer will take time to understand your goals and legal interests before suggesting their services as needed.

4. You’re facing an emergency

If an emergency situation arises during divorce proceedings, such as domestic violence or financial calamity, it’s imperative that you contact your lawyer as soon as possible. They can assist in securing protective measures – possibly including a temporary restraining order or financial settlement agreement.

Your attorney will also guide you through the filing for divorce as quickly and smoothly as possible, including helping you qualify for summary dissolution. They’ll provide information regarding when you should appear in court as well as how long this process is expected to last in your situation.

Your attorney should provide answers to all the questions that arise as well as share his or her experience handling divorce and family law matters, suggesting alternative resolution methods, such as mediation. They should also give an estimate of how much the entire process will cost (though they may decline answering this question if it makes them uncomfortable), refer you to psychotherapists, divorce coaches and financial planners if needed and offer referrals when appropriate.