When you are working through a divorce, you typically work with a lawyer. Your lawyer is your advocate in a variety of ways. His or her job is to protect your rights, promote your interests, and help you reach a favorable outcome with your divorce.
What does this really mean? What does a divorce lawyer really do for his or her clients during the divorce process? Below, we break down how divorce lawyers perform their variety of tasks before the client files for divorce, once the divorce proceedings have begun, and after the divorce is finalized.
Explaining Your Options
When you get divorced, you have options. You have the option to choose mediation or a collaborative divorce instead of litigating your divorce. You also have the option to try separate maintenance, Michigan’s version of a legal separation, instead of being divorced. Before you even file your divorce paperwork, your lawyer can explain these options to you.
Your lawyer can also explain your options regarding specific aspects of your divorce, like your right to seek spousal support and your options for refuting false allegations made against you.
Protecting Your Rights
Your lawyer is also tasked with protecting your rights, like the right to seek spousal support and if you are facing domestic violence, the right to enact a personal protection order (PPO). Any time your spouse threatens to block your rights or you feel the court is not respecting your rights, your lawyer will step in and ensure that you exercise your rights.
Promoting Your Interests
Your rights are not the same as your interests. Your rights are guaranteed by the state and federal governments, they cannot be infringed upon. Your interests are your personal choices and goals, like retaining your marital home or creating a 50/50 child custody order. A big part of your lawyer’s role is to negotiate with the court and your spouse’s lawyer to help you reach your goals for the divorce, which can mean having to compromise in certain other areas. For example, you might have to agree to your spouse taking a larger share of your savings in exchange for you retaining the home.
Advising You Toward Beneficial Choices
Along with explaining your options, your lawyer will advise you about the most productive choices to make to help yourself reach an appropriate divorce settlement. Every action has a consequence, and your lawyer will explain each proposed action’s consequence to help you weigh whether it is in your best interest. You might want to retain the marital home, but remember that means you will be solely responsible for its property taxes. With his or her advice, your lawyer can give you perspective on issues like this.
Work with an Experienced Clinton Township Divorce Lawyer
During your free legal consultation with our team at Iafrate & Salassa, P.C., we will go into greater detail about your divorce lawyer’s role in your case and what you can – and should – expect from him or her. Contact our office today to set up your consultation in our office to get started with us.