Things To Do Before You Divorce
TALK TO A MARRIAGE COUNSELOR OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL WHO MAY BE ABLE TO HELP YOU SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE.
Even if you don’t think there’s hope for the marriage, “divorce counseling” can help you discover what went wrong, how to cope, and how to pick up the pieces and go on. Don’t wait for your spouse to participate. If you don’t know how to find a qualified counselor, our firm will be glad to recommend.
TALK TO AN ATTORNEY BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING.
Even if you don’t end up hiring an attorney to handle your separation or divorce, you would be well advised to get as much information as you can before you even discuss divorce with your spouse
DO NOT MOVE OUT OF THE MARITAL HOME WITHOUT TALKING TO AN ATTORNEY FIRST.
Leaving the house without a good reason may cause you to pay alimony or may result in your inability to collect alimony once the divorce is finalized. If you leave the house, you may also be unable to return until after a court divides the property according to standard divorce laws
IF YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN ANY EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIRS, TALK TO A LAWYER BEFORE YOU DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR SPOUSE OR ANYONE ELSE.
In this case, honesty may not be the best policy. In addition to the fact that adultery is illegal in the state
Although an alimony claimant is not required to prove the other spouse is at fault in order to be entitled to postseparation support or alimony, the alimony statute addresses the concept of marital fault and permits a judge to consider evidence of fault in fixing the amount of alimony to be awarded, if any.
Fathers’ Rights: With a Good Strategy and an Even Better Lawyer, Dads Are Getting More Time with Their Kids.
a single father of 6-year-old twin boys, decided to pursue full custody of his sons, he knew it wouldn’t be an easy journey. He assumed, and often heard, that most family law judges
favor the mother in custody disputes. Although he was concerned the odds were stacked against him, he felt gaining custody of his sons was in their best interest. “Everyone’s situation is a little different, but for me personally, it involved the boys’ wellbeing,” he says. “I was concerned about their care when I was at work. I need to take action.”
primary custodian of the boys, but he and the boys’ mother still shared joint physical custody. However, she wanted to be named primary custodian which would place her in charge of decisions concerning the boys, including where they lived, as she preferred her home state
Family Law to represent him in the custody trial. It was a good decision. “When things come to a head during a separation, people can act irrationally and do things that hinder their case,”
“I remained calm and steady throughout the whole thing under the guidance of my attorneys. They helped me understand what I could and couldn’t use as far as evidence that could either help or damage my case. His team explored every avenue and put in extraordinary effort to present my case. Walking into the courtroom, I was confident that I did my best for my sons. The jury awarded me full custody.”
Marketing for Family Lawyers
Here’s how you can grow your family law firm with Internet marketing
Whether you’re a solo divorce attorney or a multi-location family law firm, winning new clients grows your business.
But it’s a highly competitive area and it’s hard to stand out. It’s made harder if you follow general law firm strategies that fail to get the right messages in front of the right people. Potential leads looking for a divorce attorney require a different marketing approach to those looking for an employment lawyer.
This guide is designed to stop you from falling into the trap of being too general with your marketing strategy. It will help you get specific and market directly to your potential family law customers. It will also help you get more and better leads – and more conversions.
Jumping in and attempting to market your practice without doing your homework first will prove expensive and ineffective. The “spray and pray” approach should be dead. All good marketing is highly targeted.
First, you need to establish exactly who your ideal customers are. Think about these five demographic elements:
How to Avoid Getting Overbilled by Your Divorce Lawyer
Divorce Clients are “Low-Hanging Fruit” for Family Court Attorneys
Family law is perhaps the one area of legal practice where the clients are the most susceptible to get over-billed by their lawyer. The reasons why clients are so vulnerable to getting ripped off by a divorce attorney is because divorce cases can be highly emotional for the client. Clients are typically angry, scared, or depressed and oftentimes not thinking at their rational best. Therefore, to a divorce lawyer, clients can be low-hanging fruit who are ripe for the picking. When divorce lawyers play on their clients’ emotions by urging them to fight unnecessarily, then client pays a high price for that game.
A lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an unreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses. The factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:
(1) the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly;
(2) the likelihood that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer;(3) the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;
(4) the amount involved and the results obtained;
(5) the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances;
(6) the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;
(7) the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services; and
(8) whether the fee is fixed or contingent.
Although there may be nothing inherently unethical about a divorce lawyer charging his or her normal hourly rate to perform menial tasks, this type of billing may mean one of two things:
Lack of Efficiency – Your divorce lawyer isn’t efficient and isn’t making proper use of his or her staff such as secretaries or paralegals who cost much less per hour than the lawyer.
No Staff Support – Some lawyers, especially recent law school graduates, practice law without staff support or a paralegal. Although there’s nothing unethical or wrong about an attorney who does everything on their own, this type of billing can significantly increase the costs of your divorce.
Guesstimating Time – When lawyers bill, they’re required to keep contemporaneous records of their time. In other words, lawyers must record their time immediately, if not soon after, the time is spent. When lawyers don’t stay on top of their timekeeping and, instead, rely on their memory to later record time, they may record too little or too much time.
Some indications that your divorce lawyer may be guesstimating his or her time include:
Erratic Billing Practices – If your lawyer doesn’t send you bills on a regular schedule (such as the 1st of the month) but instead sends you bills at odd intervals, then your lawyer may not be keeping accurate records of his or her time.
Untimely Billing Entries – If your lawyer sends a bill each month, then you should expect to see all of your charges for that billing time period. However, if your lawyer is billing you for the month of March yet you see time for January too, then your lawyer may not be keeping accurate records.
TIL DIVORCE DO US PART
There are so many different reasons why you may consider using a therapist in your family law case. A lot of couples going through a divorce have their own personal therapists, which can be a very healthy way to deal with the difficult personal situation they are going through. Some parents need a therapist to assist them in effectively communicating and co-parenting. Many, if not most, minor children have counselors to talk to about their parent’s separation and other issues related to a family law case they are involved in. Finally, sometimes when parents are estranged from their minor children it is required that they attend something called “reunification therapy” to try and rebuild the relationship between the estranged parent and the child.
Things to be Avoid if Using a Therapist in Your Family Law Case
All of these therapists are extremely useful, particularly when you have someone knowledgeable about the family law process. However, in my experience as a family law attorney, there are certain things to be aware of when using a therapist and being involved in a family law case.
Therapists Testifying in Court
First, your therapist probably does not want to testify, nor are they typically a very convincing witness on your behalf. A lot of therapists develop a relationship with their clients which is personal and private, in order for the therapy to be truly effective. They also often have a bias in favor of their client due to said relationship. It is the same as having your sister or brother or mother testify in your favor – a Judge will think “well, of course, they will sing your praises, they are your mother” and not a neutral party. Therapists can sometimes fall in the same category.
Don’t Delegate Decision-Making Authority
Another pitfall with utilizing a therapist in a divorce case has nothing to do with testimony nor disclosure. Instead, it has to do with letting a therapist or mental health treating professional “drive the bus” in the case. This is most likely to occur in a reunification therapy type of scenario.
For example, putting into an Allocation Judgment that the parties will take the recommendations of a therapist for purposes of increasing parenting time. The problem with doing this is that a lot of therapists are a bit conservative about pushing the children too far too soon in reunification therapy and they will err on the side of caution.