PUBLISHER’S NOTE:This blog is as meaningful today as it was when we originally posted it on August 22, 2008. Securing an experienced divorce lawyer (that you are comfortable with) is EXTREMELY important! If after your first consultation your gut tells you that you still have questions, keep interviewing other potential lawyers. You will recognize the “right” one when you meet him/her!
Why You Should Hire an Experienced Family Law Attorney
Gordon Gibb recently wrote an excellent article for lawyersandsettlements.com about the importance of hiring an experienced divorce lawyer. He lasers in on the topic with his opening sentences. “If there ever was a more important role for lawyers and litigation professionals, it is in family law. Corporate law, environmental law, even real estate law has nuthin’ on the complexities and the drama that explodes from divorce petitions, custody battles-even who gets to keep the family dog”.
Avoid “Getting The Shaft”, Talk To An Experienced Divorce Lawyer!
Like most veteran divorce lawyers, I have seen lots of situations where a party ignores a summons and complaint for divorce, to his/her peril. The excuses I frequently hear are:
I’m too busy;
We have only been married for just a short time;
My spouse will treat me fairly;
I don’t need to spend money for a lawyer
I am too depressed to deal with it, and if I ignore it, I can fight it later if necessary; or
My spouse will get everything anyway since I have been a lousy spouse.
Truthfully, all of these “excuses” are poor ones. Scheduling an appointment with an experienced divorce lawyer is not an expensive pro-active investment. Some lawyers even offer a free initial conference.
What will happen if you simply ignore the divorce filing?
The case will be set for a non-contested default hearing;
Your spouse (and his/her divorce lawyer) will submit a Final Decree of Divorce for the Court’s approval;
There will be little inquiry by the Judge if the facts are correct or the orders are fair or equitable;
Listening To Advice From Friends And Relatives Not Always Wise In Divorce. Choose The Right Divorce Lawyer For Your Case!
No one expected that they would later be involved in a divorce when they married. But unfortunately, not all marriages are “forever”. Clients facing a divorce generally want it to be fair, drama free, inexpensive and quick.
As a Dayton, Ohio, family law lawyer for 40 years, I have lots of experience helping people in all kinds of divorce situations from relatively simple cases to complex high conflict cases. Here are some tips based on the experience that I have gained.
What are the 3 Top Costly Mistakes to Avoid in a Divorce?
Choosing the right attorney
Ignoring the divorce complaint
Listening to advice from friends and relatives
Choosing the Right Attorney
Divorce law is an extremely complicated practice area. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to find an experienced divorce lawyer that you have interviewed and to whom you can relate. Interview several. Take the time to get recommendations from family and friends who have gone through a divorce in your area. Read online reviews. Not all attorneys are the same. Avoid at all costs the “generalist” … Read More... “Three Costly Mistakes to Avoid in Your Divorce!”
How To Get The Best Outcome From Your Divorce Lawyer
So, you have selected your divorce lawyer. Here are some tips for how to deal with him/her to hopefully achieve the best outcome possible.
Be Candid and Honest – Don’t ever leave your divorce lawyer in the dark. Try to be completely open about all the relevant facts whether they are good or bad. Disclose all assets and debts. Don’t try to hide assets. Honestly complete the required Financial Disclosure Affidavit. [Here is a link to an article about the importance of properly completing your financial affidavit.] If in doubt about anything bring it up to your lawyer! Remember that all conversations with your lawyer are confidential.
Actively Participate with your Divorce Lawyer – Fully cooperate with your divorce attorney and the paralegal(s). Become part of your team. Help him/her by providing requested documents and information as timely as possible. Your fees will rise if the lawyer has to repeatedly remind you to provide information. Don’t wait to the last minute either. You want your lawyer to have plenty of time to review it all and discuss with you any questions. Remember that how you communicate with your lawyer
PUBLISHER’S UPDATE:Here is one of my favorites posts about attorney fees from back on August 8, 2009! The advice rings as true now as it did then…We have a ton of interesting articles in our archives of the Ohio Family Law Blog. Use our Search tool and enjoy a few oldie but goodies!
Tips To Reduce Attorney Fees And Save On Divorce Costs
I would like to share some constructive fee-cutting suggestions for you to consider implementing after you have done your “due diligence” in selecting the right attorney for you and your issues. Many of the cases I have handled over the last 30 years are family law matters which are engagements typically based upon the number of hours spent in the representation. The amount of time to complete these cases varies based upon many factors, including the nature of the issues, contentiousness of the parties, and the cooperation level existing between both counsel.