Sunday, January 21, 2007

How To Find A Good Divorce Attorney

How To Find A Good Divorce Attorney by Andrew Daigle

For most, a divorce is a very stressful process that leaves everyone involved with a feeling of emotional exhaustion. When dealing with divorce laws varying from one state to the next, the possibility of alimony, child custody and the filing of complicated divorce papers, it may be a good idea to meet with a divorce attorney for professional advice surrounding local divorce laws and any other factors that may affect your case. When searching for the right divorce lawyer, it's important to note that there is a considerable difference between a good divorce attorney and the right divorce attorney for you. There may be dozens of qualified divorce lawyers in your area, but finding the one that will work to achieve your needs will ultimately be the best divorce lawyer for you.

When searching for a divorce attorney, most people's first reaction is to grab the telephone book and start flipping through the yellow pages. While this is a good place to start, choosing a divorce lawyer requires much more thought than simply picking a name at random. Attorneys specialize in different areas, which is why it's important to make sure the one you choose is experienced in handling divorce cases. Once you have made a list of local divorce lawyers to contact, your next step is to schedule a consultation with at least three different attorneys. This is essential in your decision as it will help you to get a better idea as to your options and how a different divorce lawyer may handle your case. In addition, meeting with different divorce lawyers will help you to compare rates and ultimately choose the attorney that you feel the most comfortable with.

During your consultation, a good divorce attorney will be able to answer your questions about local divorce laws, child custody laws and will likely be able to offer valuable advice on divorce. In many cases, couples can resolve the division of assets and custody matters through divorce mediation. Others, who are unable to reach an amicable solution, must proceed to divorce court where a judge will hear the circumstances of the case and will issue a ruling as to the division of assets, alimony (when applicable) and child custody.

The complexity of a divorce case will greatly determine the attorney fees, which will be discussed during your initial consultation with a divorce lawyer. When discussing your case, it is essential that you inquire about these rates, how and when they are to be paid and who is responsible for paying them. As a general rule, the more work that is done and time spent on a case, the higher the attorney fees will be. If a divorce case is concluded outside of divorce court, the costs are likely to be less than if that same case were to proceed to trial.

Once an agreement is reached and you have chosen the right divorce attorney for your case, a retainer agreement will be signed by both you and the attorney. This contract is simply a formal written agreement that outlines the services to be offered and the cost of said services. A copy of this agreement will be kept on file at the office of your divorce lawyer and a copy will also be provided to you for safekeeping.

The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only. It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional legal advice regarding divorce. If you are in need of divorce advice or are considering a marriage separation, consult with a professional divorce lawyer in your area for further information and/or divorce advice.

About the Author

Andrew Daigle is an author and creator of many informational websites including , and many more.

Divorce Lawyer Characteristics - 5 Traits to Consider

Divorce Lawyer Characteristics - 5 Traits to Consider by Steve C

The characteristics of a divorce lawyer are important to consider when seeking legal representation. Whether your divorce is highly contested or if you are close to settling all or most of the major issues pertaining to your divorce such as child custody and visitation, division of property, and support, the following characteristics of a prospective divorce lawyer should be considered.

(1) Proactive
(2) Willingness to negotiate
(3) Assertive
(4) Approachable
(5) Problem solver

Proactive divorce lawyers often keep the opposing party on the defensive. Rather than reacting to the opposing counsels requests, a proactive attorney will have a strategy and often initiate action requiring the other party to respond or react. When done effectively, the opposing party may find themselves responding and reacting with little or no opportunity to go on the offensive.

Willingness to negotiate
Cases in which the parties are close to settling all or some of their divorce issues can benefit from divorce lawyers that are willing to help negotiate settlements out-of-court. Additionally, much time, money, and stress associated with contested divorce cases can be drastically reduced. However, in highly contested divorces, negotiating settlements may not be an option and a good trial lawyer may be more valuable.

An assertive divorce lawyer is typically confident, but not arrogant, and knows when it is ok to be assertive and when it is not. Additionally, such an attorney will often demonstrate confidence in the courtroom through his/her experience and may remain unemotional throughout your divorce proceedings. The attorney's communication with the opposing counsel will typically be amicable, but when under attack, he/she will not be afraid to assert his/her client's position.

Approachable attorneys are easy to talk to and easy to get in contact with. When you request to speak with them they will make themselves available and return your call in a timely manner. However, an approachable attorney is not an attorney that will engage in meaningless conversations that have no relevance to your case. Typically, an approachable attorney will demonstrate good listening skills in a conversation and will politely inform you if they believe you are getting off the subject to make the best use of his/her time.

Problem solver
An attorney that demonstrates good problem solving skills will have a strategy for your case. Such attorneys are often willing to negotiate settlements when it makes sense, but are fully prepared for trial if matters cannot be settled out-of-court.

If you plan to retain a divorce lawyer to help you with your divorce, taking into consideration the above 5 traits of a prospective attorney before you hire him/her might save you a surprising amount of time, money, and stress during your divorce proceedings.

© 2006 Child Custody Coach

About the Author

Child Custody Coach provides child custody information and help. "How to Win Child Custody" is a custody strategy guide. Custody Match help you find a divorce lawyer, family law attorney, or child custody attorney.

Is a Divorce Lawyer Right for You?

Is a Divorce Lawyer Right for You? by Hege Crowton

Separation in a marriage. It's not an easy situation and, in fact, can be one of the most traumatic experiences in a person's life, short of the death of a loved one. While there are manifold reasons that people choose to divorce every day, there is more than one type of divorce. In this article we'll discuss the need for a divorce lawyer and how she can aid you in understanding your options during your trying time.

First, divorce is like war, in that it should only be the very last action employed, when all talks and all other actions have been taken to ameliorate the situation. This should definitely include seeing a marriage counselor for a substantial amount of time. Very often by having a third-party mediator, emotions can be stilled, allowing for logic and fresh insight to come out, and so calming the troubled waters that oft befall married people.

However, as counselors are not miracle workers, sometimes insufferable differences make it necessary to seek a divorce lawyer. There are numerous reasons for seeking the services of a divorce lawyer, the two most important being dispute over ownership of property and custody of children. We'll touch lightly upon these two issues in a moment.

First, it should be known that there are two different categories that your divorce lawyer will present you with, each representing a different type of split-up. As every divorce situation is different, the need for these two classifications was created. They are called "no-fault divorce" and "fault divorce."

In the former, no proof of wrong doing is necessary. The spouse seeking legal separation usually does not even need to give a reason, or if so, simply may state "incompatibility," "don't get along," or something along these lines. It should be noted however, that in some states a period of living apart must first be exercised. This can be a few months to a year, depending on the state. Your divorce lawyer will know the details of this.

In the second form of divorce, "fault divorce," one of the spouses must state a more extreme reason for the split, including physical or emotional abuse, inability of sexual performance not known at the time of marriage, infidelity, incarceration in a penitentiary, or desertion.

The reason for the two types of divorces is two-fold. First, the "no-fault" takes much more time, well over a year in some cases, whereas the "fault" divorce is more expedient. As well, as your divorce lawyer will detail for you, in a "fault" divorce, if someone is seeking custody of their children or more property in the settlement, such a divorce will bolster their legal argument.

There are numerous books claiming that you can file your own divorce, which is true. This person should have the answers to your questions. However, if you are desirous of a "fault"-type legal separation, find a divorce lawyer.

About the Author

For more legal information and articles please visit the following websites: Copyright 2006

When To Use A Divorce Lawyer And When To Avoid One

When To Use A Divorce Lawyer And When To Avoid One by Jeffrey Anderson

The topic of divorce is never pleasant and usually painful, but if you find yourself at the end of a marriage, it may be your only logical options. Individuals choose to enter divorce proceedings for a variety of reasons, but usually the more civil these proceedings the better. A divorce lawyer can be incredibly useful for representing you regarding divisions of assets and property and in the event of custody proceedings.

Not everyone needs to solicit the aid of a divorce lawyer, so carefully consider whether you should consider a lawyer in your specific situation. Since each case is different, there is no blanket statement regarding who should use a divorce lawyer and who can forgo the presence of one. You do not necessarily need the help of a divorce lawyer to successfully enter and complete divorce proceedings, but in many cases, their presence and expertise can help immensely through this difficult process.

Depending on your specific situation, you may not need the assistance of a divorce lawyer. That does not mean you should put any less importance or thought into the proceedings than an individual who chooses to hire a lawyer. Many individuals forego hiring a divorce lawyer because they can come up with an agreeable situation between themselves and a former spouse.

Even though your marriage may be ending, remember both parties are adults and should act as such. Individuals who are able to remain mature about the situation and have realistic wants and needs are more capable of handing proceedings without needing a lawyer.

If you choose not to solicit the assistance of a lawyer, carefully consider all potential issues that may arise between you and your former spouse. The two of you should arrange a meeting to discuss all issues before the date of the divorce proceedings so all terms and conditions are clearly determined.

Also, you may need to meet with a neutral third party mediator so that everyone remains focused at the task at hand. Couples who are able to calmly and deliberately discuss any necessary issues regarding the divorce are more apt to have problems later down the road. Most couples are able to discuss the terms of their divorce without needing to involve lawyers.

If you are concerned about your safety or afraid of your former spouse, it will probably be in your best interest to hire a lawyer and let that individual deal with him or her directly. You will still need to make any necessary decisions, but will not have to directly speak to your former spouse.

If there is any problem of abuse--physical, sexual, or verbal--in the relationship, a lawyer should be hired immediately. Furthermore, if you fear for the safety of any children or dependants in your home life, a lawyer be hired for their best interest as well. Furthermore, if your spouse is acting cruel or dishonest towards you or anyone else in the household, hiring a lawyer will help take the focus off you in this situation.

Another reason to hire a lawyer is if your spouse does so first. It is severely discouraged to enter into divorce proceedings against a lawyer if you have no experience in the field of law yourself. Hiring a lawyer will protect your best interests and ensure your wants and needs are taken care of in a court of law. This is especially true if children are involved, as custody cases are often complicated and should be handled by a professional.

If you find yourself wanting to hire a lawyer but financially unable to do so, speak with the legal aid office of your county courthouse. These offices coordinate clients with lawyers who will work at reduced fees or for no cost at all (pro bono). If you know a lawyer through family or friend connections, seek their help and guidance. Many legal acquaintances will be able to provide you with legal information for minimal or no charge.

However, if the lawyer in question shares a relationship with both you and your former spouse, it is strongly recommended you avoid bringing this person into any potential dispute. Making the decision whether or not to hire a lawyer to assist with your divorce proceedings is a critical decision that should be made using a clear head and deliberate thought.

About the Author

Jeffrey Anderson writes about divorce lawyers and legal divorce help at - Click the link to visit now

What A Divorce Lawyer Is Going To Do For You

What A Divorce Lawyer Is Going To Do For You by George Royal

Getting a divorce is not something anyone looks forward to and it is certainly not something that we plan for when we get married. Unfortunately divorce is a reality for many people in many different situations. If you are getting a divorce or even just considering it then you need to be sure to choose the right divorce lawyer.

You will find many a divorce lawyer in your area but be aware that not all of them are as good as others. You need to have the best divorce lawyer that you can afford when it comes to your divorce. If you don't you could end up paying much more than you though and I am not talking about the divorce lawyer fees. I am talking settlement or even alimony or palimony. Then there is custody to consider if you have children. So take care with your divorce lawyer choice.

When you are trying to get a divorce your divorce lawyer is going to petition the courts to get your marriage dissolved. This means coming to an agreement in terms of all property and money that you as a couple have had possession of. There are several grounds for divorce and your divorce lawyer will help you to choose the grounds that suit your particular situation the best.

You will have the choice of adultery, time apart, unreasonable behavior and sometimes even fraud or irreconcilable differences are the way to go. Bottom line is that you should never make any important decisions concerning your divorce without first talking things over with your divorce lawyer. Your divorce lawyer is the professional who has the experience that will help you through this trying time.

What will your divorce lawyer be doing all of the time they are working for you? Your divorce lawyer will spend most of his or her time working on the distribution of conjugal property. How your property is divided will depend on a couple of things. Some of these things will be how much there is to begin with and how much belonged to whom before the marriage, the length of the marriage and the place in which you live. Every country, even every state has its own rules concerning the distribution of property and only your divorce lawyer will be able to help you make all of the right decisions.

Your divorce lawyer is considered to be your legal representation. This means that this divorce lawyer is the person who will often speak for you in court and out of court. Your divorce lawyer needs to be present at every meeting that you have with your spouse's lawyer or your spouse. Never talk about the case without your divorce lawyer being present and on hand. You never know what you could say that could jeopardize your divorce case, it is far better to be safe than sorry.

About the Author

Lawyers HQ: everything you need to know about finding the right lawyer.

How to Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer

How to Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer by Nashville

Are you unhappy with your relationship? Are you thinking about divorce? Well then, choosing the right lawyer can be one of the most important decisions you make when considering a divorce. According to the article "How to Select a Divorce Lawyer" by Scott Morgan which was posted at, selecting a divorce lawyer to handle your family law case is a very important decision.

There are a few important criteria to help in finding the right divorce lawyer including focus and experience, past client testimonials, accessibility, fees and comfortability. And here are a few tips on how to get the best divorce lawyer around for your case.

First, set an appointment and prepare your questions beforehand. Ask about everything that is related to your case. Through this, you'll be able to assess if you have come to the right person and realize if he can handle the case for you. Also, ask about whether you'll be copied in on all documents. I believe that it's very important for a lawyer to return phone calls within a day and to copy a client in on all correspondence including legal letters and documentations. It is your right to be kept fully updated on all the developments of your case. More so, never think twice to inquire whether you will be charged for phone calls and for the initial consultation. Always keep in mind that a lawyer cannot be able to truthfully determine a legal fee without some preliminary research and investigation. Of course, fees will vary based on the complexity of the case, the time commitment involved, the skill and experience of the lawyer, etc. The payment of the fees, whether partial or full, is being done at the beginning of the case in some cases. In other cases, the lawyer might offer a payment plan.

Indeed, resolving such complicated issue is being made more difficult because of the emotional factors involved and the fact that during the divorce, neither of the parents is really happy. With this, regular communication between you and your attorney is very important. However, bear in mind that your lawyer's job is to give you correct information to help you make difficult decisions, not to tell you what you want to hear. The divorce lawyer will only help you to at least lessen the burden that you experience by winning your divorce case.

After all, the stress that these battles bring to parents can be truly remarkable. Perhaps, no other phase of life such as this one presents so much psychological pain yet so much opportunity for growth for the persons involved.

About the Author

For additional legal information and inquiries about the article log on to

How to Select a Divorce Lawyer

How to Select a Divorce Lawyer by Scott Morgan

Selecting a divorce lawyer to handle your family law case is a very important decision. The following are a few important criteria to help in finding the right divorce lawyer.

Experience and Focus

Any divorce lawyer you consider should have substantial experience in handling divorce cases in your location. An experienced divorce lawyer will know the tendencies of the various judges in your jurisdiction and should be able to use this knowledge to your advantage. Additionally, that lawyer should practice primarily in the field of divorce law. Often people will hire a lawyer who practices primarily in some other area, thinking that any lawyer will do. However, divorce law is a very specialized field that requires particular skills and experience in order to have a likelihood of reaching a successful conclusion.

Past Client Testimonials

Perhaps the best way to decide which divorce lawyer to use for your divorce case is to find out what former clients have to say about that lawyer. While divorce is never an enjoyable process, some divorce lawyers have more success at satisfying their clients than others. If you do not know someone who has been a client of that particular divorce lawyer, you should consider asking the lawyer for a list of clients that you can contact who can describe their experience with the lawyer. While client confidentiality is important, any good experienced divorce lawyer should have at least a few former clients who are willing to vouch for him or her.


When a client becomes dissatisfied with a divorce lawyer, one of the most common complaints is that they were unable to communicate with the lawyer. It is very important that your divorce lawyer be accessible and prompt in responding to your phone calls, emails, and requests for meetings. While you can ask the divorce lawyer about their office policy, this is another area where you can best evaluate the divorce lawyer by hearing what former clients have to say.

If a former client of the lawyer tells you that they found it very difficult to contact the attorney, or that the lawyer either did not return calls or respond to emails or would take several days to do so, you should definitely avoid that lawyer. Divorce is an unpleasant and frustrating process under the best of circumstances. If you are unable to reach your divorce attorney, or at least someone on his or her staff, the frustration level can increase exponentially.


When you make your initial appointment with the divorce attorney, you should inquire about a consultation fee. Some lawyers do brief initial consultations for free, although most experienced divorce lawyers will charge between $100.00 and $200.00 as a consultation fee, or will charge their normal hourly rate.

For example, I charge a flat $100.00 consultation fee with no additional hourly charges, regardless of the length of the meeting. Essentially, the consultation fee is to "weed out" those people who are not serious about the possibility of hiring me. Given that my normal hourly rate is $200.00/hour and the usual typical consultation takes about 90 minutes, the charge for my consultation is significantly discounted. Therefore, you shouldn't let a consultation fee scare you away from interviewing a particular lawyer.

During the consultation it is vitally important that you have a candid discussion with the prospective divorce lawyer about fees and what you can expect. Typically, an experienced divorce lawyer will require the payment of a substantial retainer up front, against which that lawyer's hourly rate and expenses will be charged. You should find out what that lawyer's hourly rate is, what the up front retainer will be, whether any portion of the retainer is refundable if it is not exhausted, and how often you can expect to receive invoices that detail their hourly charges and expenses. You also will want to know how detailed the invoices are. Once again, this is another area where you can get excellent information from those people who have been clients of that divorce lawyer.


While all the above issues are important, there is one final question you should ask yourself before hiring a divorce lawyer. Are you comfortable with that lawyer and are you confident in his or her abilities? If the answer is anything other than a resounding "yes," you should keep looking. Your case is too important to entrust to someone who does not inspire your confidence.

About the Author

Scott Morgan is a Houston attorney who practices exclusively in the field of divorce and family law. He has practiced family law in Texas since 1994. For more information see his website: