Going through divorces can be very complex and people often don’t have all the information they need to navigate the process or know how to select the right divorce attorney for their specific circumstances. We believe sharing information and being transparent is key to establishing trust with our clients, so we have put together some of the best kept secrets to navigating a divorce below.
It Pays to Consult With Multiple Attorneys Before Choosing
Even when your first consultation with a divorce lawyer goes well, it doesn’t mean you should hire them immediately. Consulting with several lawyers before making a choice has its advantages. Even if you find the first attorney you meet with highly competent, you may find the next one just as competent but with a better rapport. Plus, with every consultation, you learn more about your options and how the process works in your state. Best of all, not only does meeting with several attorneys increase the chances of finding the most experienced and skilled attorney to handle your case, but having consultations with the best divorce lawyers in your area prevents your spouse from hiring one of those top lawyers in your community due to a conflict of interest if they’ve already met with you.
Contact us for a confidential case consultation with a California Divorce Lawyer.
Settling is Almost Always a Better Option Than Court
It’s easy to give in to hard feelings against a spouse and let the emotions come to a heated peak in divorce court where both sides can give testimony and present evidence against the other, but going to court has many disadvantages. Taking your disputes to court adds many hours of legal fees, greatly adding to the cost of the divorce.
If you and your spouse are open to communicating and compromising, you can reach your own decisions on all aspects of the divorce agreement, including sharing parenting time in a schedule that works for both parents, the equal distribution of your marital assets, and the child support amount determined by the state’s formula.
Not only does settling out of court save costly legal fees, but it also supports a more peaceable relationship with your ex going forward—something that’s especially beneficial for spouses with children.
Mediation Can Make All the Difference
Professional mediators can be game-changers in the divorce process when spouses can’t come to an agreement on all terms but want to avoid court. Mediation also helps spouses discover solutions they wouldn’t have considered otherwise and ensures that they’ve covered the bases for all terms of the divorce agreement required by the state.
Come Prepared and Stay Organized
Before you file a divorce petition or soon after you receive a petition for divorce, it’s time to get as organized as possible to streamline the process. Gathering documentation of your assets, debts, and income is an important first step. Divorce attorneys charge by the hour so you’ll save money in the divorce process if you come to each meeting prepared. Bring all requested documents and keep all divorce-related materials in an organized file.
Avoid Posting on Social Media
Many people find relief in posting about emotional topics online to solicit the advice, attention, and warm wishes of friends—or to vent their anger and frustration. Not only should you avoid posting anything negative about your spouse that their lawyer could use against you in court, but you should also avoid posting about vacations, shopping, expensive concert tickets, or anything that could give the appearance of reckless spending.
Your Divorce is Likely to Cost More Than the Original Estimate
Unless you and your spouse minimize expenses by crafting your settlement agreement out of court or agree to a collaborative, non-contested divorce, the final bill for attorney and court fees is likely to be higher than the original estimate. Court fees, attorney rates charged for phone calls, and other legal expenses tend to snowball, especially in highly contested cases. Original estimates are just that—estimates. While rarely, a divorce may cost less than the estimate, it’s much more common in the end for it to cost more than anticipated.