The decision to divorce is best made not in the heat of an argument, but after careful and thorough contemplation. Our family law firm recommends choosing a divorce attorney in the same manner.
There’s no way around it: A divorce proceeding involves a lot of hassle. At a minimum, there will be months of procedural deadlines and negotiations on issues of property division, spousal and/or child support, child custody, and other issues required by the court. Having an attorney that communicates well with you and understands your unique situation will go a long way toward streamlining the process.
Another consideration in choosing an attorney is whether they are versed in alternative dispute resolution techniques, such as divorce mediation. Our law firm has helped many clients utilize these options in their divorce. ADR methods can significantly reduce the time and cost of a divorce because the court is removed as the middleman. The parties will meet in the presence of their attorneys and attempt to reach resolution on as many issues affecting the marital estate as possible. Any agreements that are finalized can be presented to the court for final approval.
The court’s review of negotiated issues will look for issues of fairness and the applicability of other laws. For example, state child support guidelines must be observed. Similarly, if it appears that one party is being taken advantage of, the court may require a more detailed inquiry. In general, however, a couple that approaches a divorce collaboratively can greatly reduce the amount of actual court involvement.
Source: FindLaw, “Divorce Mediation FAQ,” copyright 2017, Thomson Reuters