Dealing with the Legal System in Divorce - Attorneys
With attorneys and divorce, it's not all or nothing. Attorneys can help you in several capacities, providing as little or as much assistance as you want.
One-time consultation. Prior to or during your divorce, you can consult an attorney on a one-time basis to ask for advice about:
- the divorce laws in your area and how they might be applied in your case
- specific issues important for you to be aware of and how they might best be addressed
- whether an agreement you are considering is complete and best for you and/or the children
You will pay the attorney just for the time s/he spends meeting with you and/or reviewing any documents you've brought or asked to have reviewed before or after the meeting.
Off-and-on consultation. You can consult with an attorney on a pay-as-you-go basis throughout your divorce process for advice about:
- the process, the paperwork, and the basic laws
- specific property and debt, parenting, and support issues
- how to handle yourself in court, what kind of evidence you will need for court and how best to present it.
Most attorneys are happy to help you with your on-going questions, and, paying for the meetings as you go helps you keep your costs down while still allowing you to feel confident that you're not in this entirely alone.
Full-time representation. You can hire an attorney to represent you throughout your divorce. When you retain and attorney for full representation, the attorney:
- deals directly with the court on your behalf
- communicates and negotiates with your spouse, or with your spouse's attorney if there is one
- manages your case and prepares all documents and agreements for a final resolution
Most attorneys will ask for payment of a certain amount up front that they will use as a retainer to be billed against as the case proceeds. Attorneys generally have an hourly rate and bill in portions of an hour for everything they do, including talking to you on the telephone or by email.
Whether you consult with an attorney from time to time or decide to retain an attorney to represent you in your divorce, ultimately you are in control of your case. An attorney can help you in many ways, but you must make the final decisions towards your final outcome.
© 2016, 2018 The Wollard Law Firm PC, dba Foothills Family Law