Is divorce your next step?
Are you ready for child custody? Hiring an experienced family lawyer will benefit your case.
Importantly, you need to know your legal rights and responsibilities.
Because the decisions you make now will impact your life and your child’s future.
How a Compassionate Family Law Attorney Can Help
When you hire a family law attorney, you gain a compassionate legal professional.
Someone you can rely on and consult with about every issue and process involved in your case.
Your attorney will provide trustworthy advice on very important family matters.
So, no more guessing about the next court proceeding or how to get ready for it.
At every step in the court process, with every hearing and pleading, you will know what is expected of you and of the other party.
With your family lawyer’s guidance, you can make informed decisions about legal custody of your kids, division of your community property, payment of spousal support, and so much more.
The attorney you choose will utilize every tool available to obtain the best possible outcome in your divorce or child custody case.
Divorce Does Not Have to Be Nasty
A tremendous benefit of having a divorce attorney is his or her ability to help defuse conflict in highly contested cases.
Understand, not every divorce is nasty.
Not every couple fights tooth and nail about what went wrong with their marriage.
In fact, most spouses are able to work together with their attorneys’ assistance to achieve important goals.
This includes who stays in the marital home, for example, who gets the new car, and who will have the kids over Spring Break.
Preparing for Mediation
If you have minor children, then you and your spouse will be participating in confidential mediation during child custody proceedings.
Although the attorneys may not be present for the mediation, your lawyer will prepare you with a mediation packet so you won’t be surprised, confused, or overly anxious.
Mediation is an important step.
The mediator is trained to help parents resolve their differences in the best interests of the child.
Parents often cooperate in reaching a parenting plan agreement for sole or joint legal decision-making authority, parenting time, additional child support for extracurricular activities or a college trust, among other things.
Any issue not resolved or settled will need to be tried. Once again, that is what you have an attorney for.
If your case goes to trial, then you want a lawyer who is experienced in divorce litigation and trial practice and, when needed, is fully prepared to file an appeal.
Negotiating Divorce Terms
What else will your family lawyer help you with?
How about representing you by negotiating terms for a separation agreement?
Hire an attorney who is an experienced negotiator so the decree of divorce is fair to you.
Most spouses have little or no background negotiating deals.
And your emotional involvement will only make settlement negotiations more difficult, sitting face-to-face with your spouse or dealing directly with your spouse’s attorney.
If the settlement treats you unfairly, then you will come to regret it.
Maybe not right away, but sooner or later you’ll pay a price for not holding your ground on important issues. (Like getting half of the retirement plan your spouse funded during the marriage.)
Whether married for thirty years or three, both spouses will have potentially life-changing decisions to make.
Their separation agreement is filed with the court and, absent objection, will be made part of the divorce decree.
Issues for negotiation include an agreed division of marital assets (Who gets what?), the need for spousal maintenance (How much and for how long?), division of the marital home (Will the sale proceeds be split 50/50?), and who will be responsible for paying specific debts (Who pays the credit card bill?).
There is much to work through.
Having an attorney communicate and correspond with your spouse’s attorney will help you achieve important goals.
While protecting your rights and keeping things fair so you are not taken advantage of.
Seeking Modified Orders After the Divorce
Sometimes child support, custody, and other court orders need modifying. Have circumstances changed a lot since the divorce?
Have you lost your job or been laid off?
Has your child developed medical concerns that require specialized treatment beyond what insurance will cover?
Developing a trusting relationship with your family lawyer makes talking about these personal matters much easier.
What if you and the other parent have cooperated by adjusting the parenting time schedule and now you want the parenting plan to reflect those changes, making them enforceable?
Is the other parent struggling with drugs or alcohol and you believe supervised visitation is needed to protect your child?
Your lawyer can assist you with those concerns as well.
Even if you’ve been divorced before, you will benefit from hiring an attorney today.