If you are searching for divorce lawyers then this question has already come to mind. It is not a question anyone wants to answer in the affirmative. Most people would be happy to spend their lives without ever meeting a divorce attorney for any reason.
Nonetheless, here we are.
The short answer to this question is: if you are asking then you need to at least consult with a reputable divorce lawyer to get the best answer.
If your divorce is likely to be contested, thus requiring negotiation and/or litigation, then you need a divorce lawyer. If your spouse is represented and you are not then things are unlikely to go very well for you in a contested situation. It is that simple.
Of course, there is no need to ponder the question endlessly.
Many people are so busy managing their lives and careers that they simply want to hand their divorce to a professional in even the simplest cases. The thought of lost productivity at work or home simply is not worth the hassle of trying to handle a divorce on the side. There is value in knowing your divorce will be handled correctly and peace of mind is priceless.
What to consider when deciding whether you need a lawyer for divorce:
Of course, lawyers are not known for being very good at giving short answers so lets dig a little deeper by first looking at some of the questions you should be asking yourself:
- How complex are the issues in my divorce?
- Are there special circumstances, complex assets, business interests, or liabilities that must be addressed?
- What exactly are my rights with regards to all those issues?
- How do the courts usually resolve and decide those issues?
- What am I overlooking?
- What are the chances of my spouse settling this with me over the coffee table?
- Will we agree on alimony/spousal support, custody, child support, division of property?
- Am I comfortable drafting or approving a binding, written settlement agreement?
- Do those cheap, online forms really work? (Answer = Sometimes, Sort of, Maybe…)
- How much will it cost to fix the mess created by a cheap online divorce service? (Answer = More than hiring a lawyer in the first place)
- Is my spouse represented by counsel?
It should become obvious that talking to a divorce attorney, at a minimum, is probably wise.
In the simplest circumstances, it will be tempting to purchase cheap divorce forms on the internet and just do it. That works, sometimes. Fixing do-it-yourself divorce attempts generate a fair amount of revenue for divorce lawyers. It inevitably costs the parties more than if they used a lawyer to get it right the first time.
We offer flat fees for simple uncontested divorces, even when a little custom work may be involved. We encourage people to settle on their own and let us draft the documents to ensure things are done correctly. This is part of the reason why a divorce consultation is a good place to start finding the answer that is right for you.
How will a divorce consultation help me determine whether I need a lawyer for my divorce?
A divorce consultation is an opportunity to gain insight into the road that may lay ahead in your divorce. You should leave the consultation knowing whether you need a lawyer for your divorce, what sort of services that lawyer may provide, and the costs associated with the representation.
An experienced divorce attorney will identify the issues that are likely to arise as part of the divorce process, he or she will then explain the options available to address and resolve those issues.
Lets state the obvious. Lawyers are usually expensive. If you need a lawyer for your divorce then you want one who can do the job efficiently, cost effectively, and without creating unnecessary drama for you or your family. The best divorce lawyers will to explain to you the costs of all the options that may be available under your particular set of circumstances.
There is no obligation to hire a lawyer after a divorce consultation. So what have you got to lose? It may be the only way to determine whether you need a lawyer for your divorce.
Circumstances when you definitely need a divorce lawyer:
Self-help and an amicable divorce are great ways to save money and avoid emotional strain. Both are admirable goals that are supported and encouraged by the Moore Law Firm. The right divorce attorneys facilitate settlement and work to reduce the emotional impact of divorce even if “amicable” is not an attainable goal. However, there are some circumstances when a divorce lawyer is probably needed no matter how amicable things may appear.
If spousal support is a likely issue, then you probably need a divorce lawyer.
The range of possible spousal support awards can be overwhelming to consider in some cases. This is because just a $500 per month difference in spousal support can add up to a $30,000 difference in 5 short years. $30,000 can make a big difference in many people’s lives. It may be a new car, a trip to Paris, or a chunk of college tuition.
In high income cases, the range of potential spousal support awards can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands or millions when added up over just 5-10 years. For this reason, we always recommend retaining an experienced divorce attorney when spousal support is contested.
We sincerely hope that as parents you and your spouse will work out custody and visitation and see eye-to-eye when it comes to deciding upon what is in your children’s best interests. Nothing is more important than protecting your children during your divorce.
If this is not possible and litigation of child custody and visitation is inevitable then it would be a grievous error in almost every case not to seek representation by a divorce lawyer with extensive experience preparing and presenting child custody and visitation cases in the courts. Our divorce attorney, Brian R. Moore, has this level of experience and is capable of handling even the most complex custody and visitation issues. Please contact us immediately to set up a consultation with Brian if you are facing any child custody or visitation litigation.
Choosing a divorce attorney is the most important decision you will make in your divorce.
Attorney ethical rules prevent me or any other attorney from claiming to be “the best divorce attorney in Lynchburg” or anywhere else for that matter. If you are trying to find the best divorce lawyer it is not a bad idea to start with law firms and attorneys who devote all or the majority of their practice to divorce and family law. After you narrow the field,
The “best” divorce attorney is the best fit for you and your particular needs.
The “best” divorce attorney for one person may not be the best choice for someone else. Here are a few ways to get to know an attorney before committing to a consultation:
- Search for divorce attorney and family law firm websites then spend some time learning about divorce while you peruse divorce attorney profiles. Look for informative websites as opposed to those packed with keywords and devoid of substance. Try to get a feel for attorneys through their bios.
- Check out attorney ratings and reviews on sites like Avvo.com.
- Read divorce attorney blogs and articles to determine who is actively engaged in the practice of law and up to date on the latest cases and technology.
- Look for attorneys who have argued divorce and family law cases at the highest levels including the Virginia Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Virginia.
Do not make the mistake of assuming that all attorneys are equally competent to represent you in one of the most important events in your life.
Divorce and family law cases are some of the most challenging and complex in the practice of law. Consider a lawyer’s experience as well as what former clients say in reviews. Trust your gut and check the facts.
Attorney-client compatibility is essential to a successful relationship during what may be one of the most challenging times in your life.
Make it a priority to consider that the attorney you choose will be working very closely with you.
Divorce involves a lot of choices. It affects the rest of your life. Remember that the path you choose is just as important as the ultimate destination.
The right divorce attorney will help you find your path and not try to force you down theirs.