Divorce Lawyers - Marriage dissolves
When a marriage dissolves, it can be an extremely traumatic experience for both parties involved as couples face the often daunting task of dealing with the family and financial implications of the separated union. A lot of time and money can potentially be spent on legal fees if the divorce includes child custody disputes, negotiations about real estate and investments.
If you and your spouse are in this predicament, there are a couple of options:
Contested divorce is your traditional scenario where the husband and wife will be contesting things like assets, real estate and custody of the children. From a legal standpoint, this can quickly become adversarial as the attorneys are typically competing for leverage in the negotiations using whatever means necessary to ensure their client gets the upper hand. At the end of these proceedings, there usually feels like a winner and loser and the process itself can be quite exhausting.
Uncontested divorce, however, the process is a lot quicker as both parties agree to simply end the marriage. It is also sometimes called “no fault” because neither party is assigning blame or attempting to negotiate terms so neither needs to claim the upper hand.
Aspects which make it “unqualified” include the following:
• There are no disputes regarding child custody, visitation rights or child support, and
• You and your spouse have come to an agreement on all marital assets ahead of time.
Obviously this type of proceeding is faster and less expensive than an adversarial split up as the lawyer is simply handling the paperwork as opposed to doing research and handling a complicated legal battle.
The other non-combative alternative is called collaborative divorce, and this takes place when both parties involve a team of attorneys, mental health experts, child advocates and financial specialists to negotiate the terms with everyone’s best interest in mind. That is why it has the name “collaborative,” because multiple parties are consulted and have input in the ultimate outcome. Also, all parties agree to provide all of the documentation they have willingly, as opposed to hiding it or making it difficult to obtain.
Proponents of this system claim that settlements can be handled less expensively than a traditional adversarial situation, although not as inexpensively as uncontested proceedings. However they largely point to successes with the negotiation process and claim that the end result is better for all parties, especially the children who often lack representation in the traditional processes.
Guide to finding the right one for you
If you are looking for the best legal help you can find, it is essential that you contact a firm that has years of experience in family law. Divorce attorneys are there to make the transition from married to single as smooth as possible. Here is a quick 3-step guide to finding a really good attorney to handle your case:
• Look in your area: Make sure they are licensed in your state to practice and are familiar with the state laws which can vary from state to state.
• Ask for experience and availability: While you may be tempted to go with someone you know who does general practice or some other area of the law, this type of scenario is quite specialized and you should really look for someone who has specific experience in this area of the law.
• Price: If you have an uncontested or collaborative divorce, you will generally be paying less (because all the disputes have already been taken care of). Ask for a ball park figure of what you will be paying. However this may be difficult to accurately gauge if things get difficult during negotiating especially if the husband and wife are not on good terms or have significant assets to split up.
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