Firstly, if you’re looking to hire a family lawyer it may be for one of very many reasons. However, it’s safe to say that family lawyers primarily cover separation and divorce.
Separation and divorce are both incredibly stressful events, and can provoke feelings of pain, anger, and grief in a person. Knowing that you have an experienced lawyer on your side is imperative in being able to negotiate your terms and leave the process with what you truly deserve.
So once you’ve hired a family lawyer, what should you expect?
1. Your family lawyer will discuss the following with you:
- The legal definition of a separation and how a separation is constituted;
- The amount and duration of spousal support and whether you are entitled to it or not;
- Your matrimonial home and how to begin the process of selling it or transferring ownership of it;
- The division of other property, such as investments, cars, and other valuable assets, and;
Any other issues that arise during the process
If you have children, your family lawyer will also discuss the following topics:
- Custody of your children
- Access to your children
- Child support for your children.
In each of these topics, your lawyer will advise you on how to navigate the separation or divorce process, and will fully support you along the way.
2. They’ll create a lawyer-client contract
When you have decided on a lawyer, you can expect that they will provide you with a formal retainer agreement which is for you to review and agree to. This outlines the terms of your contract including payment and what you can expect from your lawyer.
It also details what your lawyer will expect from you. Family Law is very person and requires a decent amount of disclosure, particularly around finances. Be prepared to share specific, detailed information. Your lawyer will require your full disclosure.
You will also be provided with a detailed memorandum which advises you of the practices and procedures of the firm that is representing you.
3. They’ll give you a lot of paperwork to file away
Don’t worry—that sounds scarier than it is because, while there is a lot of paperwork involved, there isn’t a lot of reading involved. The paper work comes from the fact that during their contract with you, your lawyer will likely provide you will copies of every correspondence, court document, items of disclosure, reports, and relevant legal research that is involved in your case.
4. They’ll try to settle quickly and responsibly.
If you are able to resolve the matter of your separation or divorce amicably, then your lawyer will draw a separation agreement for it to be signed by you and your spouse. After discussing all of the terms within the separation agreement and what they practically mean to you, then the process will soon be completed.
5. They’ll do whatever it takes if the divorce gets ugly
No matter the situation, your lawyer will continuously attempt to resolve the matter in the quickest and least costly manner, while keeping your circumstances in mind. However, if you are not able to resolve the issue amicably, your lawyer will draft your necessary court documents and represent you in court at conferences, motions, and trial.
Put simply: once you hire a family lawyer, they will support you throughout the whole process and spearhead the fight to finalize the separation or divorce in a way that honors you and gets you exactly what you deserve.