If you are going through a contested divorce and wondering how to find good contested divorce attorneys, then I will guide you. You will require the services of a divorce attorney if you and your partner are unable to reach an agreement regarding your divorce.
An experienced contested divorce lawyer will help you file the contested divorce and also give you some advice on how to go about the whole divorce proceedings. Filing for divorce is just a way to make sure that the divorce process goes smoothly and is well supervised by the court.
The court will make sure that you have not been harassed by your spouse, and most of the time, filing for a divorce helps the divorcing couples reach an agreement. However, in some cases, no agreement will be reached, and trials may be necessary at some points.
That’s where the contested divorce attorney comes in. Below are a few things a lawyer can do for you during a divorce.
What to Expect From a Contested Divorce Attorney
The duty of a contested divorce attorney is to protect the rights of his or her clients, as well as take care of related financial and custody aspects of the divorce.
Apparently, the divorce lawyer will inform you about the divorce laws and also explain to you all the available legal options.
Again, the lawyer will review your situation and the documents you have on hand, which may include property value information, tax returns, and pay check stubs. Your chosen lawyer will also give you the opportunity to describe your situation and then advise you on how to get the best divorce possible.
The good news is that if you have a good attorney handling your divorce case, you will not have the need to go to trial. However, a contested divorce takes a lot of time because each partner gets their own lawyer, who first of all gathers evidence for the case hearing.
It is also the job of the contested divorce attorney to draft the divorce settlement agreements, which will serve as a legal document that determines the terms of alimony, the child’s custody, and even how the assets and other things should be equitably divided.
The services of all the contested divorce lawyers all over the world are relatively the same. Therefore, whether you are having a contested divorce in Alabama or in Georgia, the attorney will give you almost the same service.
How Much Does a Contested Divorce Cost?
Usually, the cost of a contested divorce is always more than that of an uncontested divorce. If you are going through a contested divorce, you will have to incur some costs like the divorce filing fee and other costs.
Meanwhile, you have the option to file a petition for financial affidavit or for an order waiving fees. The financial affidavit, also called a pauper’s affidavi, is an application you can file to instruct the judge to exempt you from paying the court costs.
But, mind you, the judge may or may not agree to give you a waiver for the court costs.
One of the things that makes contested divorce expensive is the hiring of a contested divorce attorney. A lawyer’s fee can be up to a few hundred dollars or thousands of dollars too.
Most attorneys are paid on an hourly basis, and it can cost you from $200-$300 per hour. Most times, the lawyer can ask you to pay what is called a “retainer” before the court date. The retainer is the money you pay before hand to secure the attorney’s services.
No attorney will charge you for your first visit to them, so don’t hesitate to visit many of them before making your final choice.
Who Pays Attorney Fees In Divorce?
If you are among those asking this question, then I have the answer you need. The answer is that everyone in a lawsuit takes care of their respective expenses. However, if you are lucky enough to get an award of attorney fees, you won’t worry about attorneys’ fees anymore.
An attorney fee award refers to when someone else is ordered by the court to pay your attorney’s fees for you. Again, if it was you that first filed for divorce, you are the one to pay the initial attorney fees as well as the court filing costs.
At this point, you can petition the court, and you might be lucky enough to secure an award of attorney fees through your attorney, but that generally depends on the nature of your case. Below are a few types of attorney fees you can secure.
- “Conduct-based” Fees:-This type of fee is awarded against the party who knowingly wishes to drag the other party to court just to make things uneasy for the other party.
- “Need-Based Fees”: This is awarded when the court finds out that one partner is dependent on the other, especially when he/she is with no income or a stay-at-home partner.
How To Contest A Divorce Without Hiring An Attorney.
The question is: is it possible to contest a divorce without a lawyer? It is possible if you know more about divorce laws or you are ready to do research about divorce. If not, then it could be a suicide mission for you.
I said this because the money you tend to save on legal fees may not actually be saved because you may end up getting the worst divorce ever and you’ll pay more than you wanted to save.
But just like I said earlier, with proper research and in good circumstances, you can succeed. There are situations that require an attorney to handle. Meanwhile, if you still insist on doing it yourself, then get to research, otherwise prepare to hire a lawyer after to clean up all the mess you’ll mess up in due time.
Before you go on about contesting a divorce without a lawyer, check these tips below out:
Tip For Contesting A Divorce Without A Lawyer
- Check If This Is Right For You: There are some conditions where do it yourself may be appropriate for you. For example, if your marriage didn’t last long, you don’t have any assets, both of you agreed to divorce amicably, you don’t have children together, etc. Outside of these situations, you must be able to get a contested divorce attorney. Especially if you and your partner are never on the same page at all.
- Prepare For It:- If you are sure it’s doable, and you wish to continue, then get yourself ready for it. Start preparing: get all the necessary documents ready. When you feel that you are ready to move ahead, visit your country’s courts website and acquaint yourself with all the steps of filing a divorce on your own. Ask questions where necessary.
- Consider How To Distribute The Assets:- Another good step you should take if you want to go through a divorce without a lawyer is to consider the assets you have and how they will be distributed without trouble. Understand that if the rules of sharing the assets defer depending on the state you are in, Therefore, if you are not acquainted with how your state or your spouse’s state does it, doing it on your own may not work effectively.
- Going To Court: Be sure you are fully ready before going to court. It will not be an easy task for you, especially when you will be faced with a professional, so know what to expect; dress professionally; make sure you don’t forget any important documents; be ready to answer the judges’ questions honestly and completely. With the help of God, you will succeed.
In this post, you have seen the importance of hiring a contested divorce attorney for your divorce. You have also seen what divorce attorneys can help you achieve; how to prepare for your divorce; who pays the attorney fees; and how to divorce without a lawyer.
I also shared with you what to do and how to get yourself ready to get the divorce you want without an attorney. Take time to go through the article to know if it will be easy for you to divorce without a lawyer.
Uncontested divorce is much easier than contested divorce because once you have an agreement with your spouse on how to share your assets and take custody of your children( if there are any), you won’t have problems.
I suggest you find a way to agree with your partner about this divorce, so you can save yourself some time and a big amount of money. With the help of contested divorce attorney, things will be much easier for you.