Top 10 Tasks of a Divorce Attorney
Dissolution of marriage is a process with many moving parts. Read on for the top 10 tasks of a divorce attorney.
- Filing legal separation agreements: Some states require you to be legally separated for a period of time before actually getting divorced. A divorce lawyer can help you file these papers in accordance with court rules.
- Negotiating the distribution of marital assets: When you get divorced, you have to divide up all your common assets. A divorce attorney can help you do so.
- Negotiating a financial settlement: Money matters must also be dealt with in a divorce. For example, one spouse may be entitled to alimony. A divorce lawyer can help you come up with a fair financial settlement that both parties agree to.
- Helping to set up alimony payments: Different factors apply in different states for determining alimony. Your divorce lawyer can explain those factors to you.
- Helping clients track down financial data: Often, in a marriage, one spouse handles the money and the other does not. As such, one spouse may have no idea what marital assets they actually have. A divorce attorney can help you gather this data to come up with a financial settlement and to divide up assets.
- Working with clients on custody agreements: When a child is involved, divorce becomes more complicated as custody of the child must be determined. There are many different custody structures, from joint to shared to primary custody, and your divorce lawyer can help you decide what is right for you.
- Helping clients to negotiate child support: The state mandates that children are entitled to support. Your divorce lawyer can help you to learn the rules on what your child must receive.
- Helping to draft petitions or requests for divorce: Formal legal papers must be filed with a judge, who will then read them and grant the divorce. A divorce lawyer can help make sure you comply with all requirements when filing these papers so a divorce will be granted.
- Helping clients to determine if an offer is fair: The law entitles you to certain things–such as portion of martial property and potentially a shared interest in your spouse’s Social Security or pension if you have been married long enough. Your divorce attorney can look at any financial settlements and determine if they are fair in light of what you are entitled to under the law.
- Representing clients in family court: When you can’t decide on a divorce agreement, the judge will decide for you. If this happens, you need to go to family court and present your case. A divorce lawyer can help you through this process.