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Divorces can be immensely taxing on everyone involved. Even if people believe a lawyer is a miracle worker, you still play an important role in divorce proceedings.
So will lawyers handle divorces? And what will your lawyer need from you?
Your lawyer will handle some tasks, such as drafting paperwork, filing documents, and keeping track of deadlines. You are not expected to know your state’s laws or handle the logistics of your case—that is why people hire divorce attorneys in the first place.
An experienced attorney will handle your divorce, but they will require your assistance in some areas. Signing documents, providing facts and information about your case, and gathering important documents such as pay stubs and tax returns will be among your responsibilities.
Let’s get started!
Your initial divorce consultation will take place at your lawyer’s office. During the initial consultation, your attorney will ask you numerous questions, listen to the specifics of your case, and walk you through the divorce process.
Most attorneys will give their clients divorce forms to fill out during (or after) the initial meeting — except for a few divorce-related homework assignments.
A good lawyer will explain the strategy or “game plan” for your particular case. Some people want an attorney to take the lead, while others want to play a larger role in the divorce process and collaborate with the lawyer.
Finding a lawyer qualified to handle your divorce is critical and will work the case on your terms.
For example, if you and your spouse are still friends, get along well at work, and can compromise, you’ll want an attorney who will work collaboratively with the opposing party rather than one who will fan the flames.
Counseling or cooperative divorce may be suitable, especially if you and your spouse are likely to agree on major issues such as alimony, who gets the marital home, and child custody schedules (if you have children).
Also, if there has been a previous domestic violence incident, you may need to file an assertive divorce allegation or obtain a restraining order. Finally, the particulars of your case will determine your attorney’s divorce strategy. Your lawyer will need to know what kind of strategy you want.
Don’t expect to be able to book a month-long vacation after hire divorce lawyer. As your divorce progresses, you and your lawyer must communicate frequently. Your lawyer may rely on you to provide factual information for the paperwork or “pleadings.”
Your spouse’s attorney may also arrange for you to attend a court hearing or a “deposition” (official questioning under pledge and outside of court).
Even though your attorney will maintain track of deadlines, you must accompany your attorney to these scheduled hearings or depositions. It may be unpleasant and inconvenient, but it is an unavoidable part of the divorce.
Divorce is often a slow and frustrating process, but don’t blame your lawyer for any delays.
Many factors are beyond your attorney’s control, such as the court’s calendar, the length of your divorce trial, or your spouse’s inability or refusal to cooperate. Be patient throughout the process, but watch what your attorney is doing.
At the very least, your attorney should produce high-quality work, communicate with you regularly, and meet deadlines. If you have concerns about your lawyer’s work or progress, meet them to discuss a new game plan for your case. If you aren’t seeing any progress, you should seek a second opinion from another lawyer.