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Choosing the right divorce lawyer to handle your case will make a significant difference in the stress level you experience as you move through the divorce process. Although you can represent your own divorce case, known as completing a pro se divorce, this is often a mistake that can cost you more money in lost assets and time wasted than you saved by opting not to hire a lawyer. Take the time to find a divorce lawyer who has specific experience working with clients who are facing the same issues that you are facing in your divorce.
A divorce lawyer represents an individual’s case as that individual completes the divorce process. The lawyer’s role is to help the individual negotiate a fair settlement for his or her divorce based on the evidence presented about the marriage, such as documentation of the couple’s assets and testimonies from outside professionals. Whether an individual divorces through litigation or a type of alternative dispute resolution like mediation, he or she should work with a divorce lawyer who can guide him or her through each of the steps of a divorce.
All divorcing couples must divide their property. In Michigan, this is done according to the doctrine of equitable distribution, which means that the couple’s assets are not necessarily divided 50/50, but according to each party’s needs after the divorce. During this process, a divorce lawyer helps his or her client determine his or her needs and goals for the property settlement, then negotiates with the court or with the other spouse’s lawyer to help his or her client reach those goals.
When a couple has children, they must determine a fair child custody and child support arrangement. A divorce lawyer’s role in this process is to represent his or her client’s interests and rights to his or her children while working with the court, whose role is to act in the best interest of the children.
If spousal support is an issue in a couple’s divorce, each partner’s lawyer also plays a role in determining the final amount awarded and the terms of the agreement. Often, spousal support is paid over a fixed period of time in order to allow the receiving spouse to build the skills necessary to enter the workforce.
Another part of a divorce lawyer’s role is to help his or her client anticipate issues that could arise and develop strategies to handle them.
The closest divorce lawyer to you might not necessarily be the best lawyer for your case. Start your search by determining all of the divorce lawyers who practice in your area, then narrow down your list by asking each the following questions:
If you are considering filing for divorce in the near future, work with an experienced divorce lawyer who can guide you through each step of the process to make it as simple as possible for you. To learn more about what you can expect from your divorce, contact our team of experienced divorce lawyers at Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. today to set up your initial consultation with a member of our firm. We can answer any questions you have and help you feel empowered as you move through the process of ending your marriage.