What should you look for in a divorce lawyer? A divorce lawyer should be someone who can counsel you. It should also be someone who can lay out a road map as to the strategy concerning how your case should be handled. Laying out a strategy in a divorce involves sophistication and knowledge as to how the courts look at a case and how to apply case law and statutes to practical situations. Developing detailed knowledge of the best way to handle divorce cases often takes decades of experience to acquire.
Choosing a Divorce Lawyer
You should choose a divorce lawyer who has the courage, insight and competence to be truthful with regard to how your case should be handled. You should not hire a divorce lawyer that tells you exactly what you want to hear! People’s lives involve different sets of facts and different sets of circumstances. Each client’s divorce case is different. You should hire an attorney that has time available to meet with you, is available to speak to you on evenings and weekends if you have emergencies, is kind, considerate and has a level of experience to layout a strategy within the realm of reality as to the potential outcomes of your case.
Negotiation or Litigation?
Negotiating a settlement out of court may be the most cost efficient way of resolving your divorce case. However, this will only work if the other side is reasonable, willing to talk, and their expectations are of resolving issues, not of winning! Winning or losing is often not the best strategy in a divorce case. Obtaining a reasonable result that meets your needs is a far superior route to take. If negotiations are inappropriate or don’t work out, a summons and complaint in a divorce lawsuit can be filed with the court. Thereafter it needs to be served on your spouse by a process server. This starts the case moving forward.
Getting the Case Into Court
An attorney gets a case before a judge by filing a Request for Judicial Intervention. This is often referred to as an “RJI”. This causes an appearance before a judge.
At the first court appearance, the judge will work out scheduling arrangements with regard to the providing of information between the spouses concerning financial issues as well as deal with issues concerning custody, visitation and other practical problems. Judges will often, at the time of the first court appearance, see if they can assist the parties regarding difficult issues that have kept them apart during the course of negotiations.
Most divorce cases are settled. They are not won or lost. A small fraction of all divorce cases actually go to trial. Settling a divorce case under the appropriate terms can be the best way of obtaining a cost efficient resolution of what could be very aggravating litigation.