Locating A Divorce Attorney Near You

Need to find a good divorce attorney near you? Use this quick guide to help you locate and secure the services of a divorce lawyer today.

Getting a divorce is not an easy decision, and it is made worse by trying to find a good divorce attorney. To move forward toward your new life, however, you must secure the services of a good lawyer.  Not all lawyers specialize in family law (divorce), so it is important you select wisely.  

A divorce attorney makes the process easier on you and helps you with the execution. If you are trying to locate a divorce attorney near you, then you have come to the right place. Here is a complete resource guide to help you take the next important step.

What Does A Divorce Attorney Do?

When terminating a marriage, many legal aspects must be handled. Here are a few things a divorce attorney is responsible for and helps you with:

  • Dividing assets and debt between you and your spouse

  • For couples with children, a divorce lawyer helps set child support and custody

  • Thorough research to gather supporting evidence for the case

  • Compilation of comprehensive paperwork to submit to the court

  • For a legal separation, the divorce attorney carries out separation through court order

If you and your spouse do not want to take the matter to court, the attorney can also mediate. Their job is to help you throughout the divorce process.

Types of Cases Divorce Attorneys Handle

Not all divorce cases are equal. There are various types of divorce the attorney can handle.

1. Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is the most challenging to handle. Contested means the spouses disagree on various matters such as child support and custody, and asset division. The divorce lawyers will try to settle. If they are unable to do so, the case goes to court.

2. Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is the easiest to handle because there is no disagreement. Both parties agree to the terms. It is the most cost-effective and quickest way to handle a divorce.

3. Default Divorce

Default divorce happens when one party files for divorce and the other party does not respond. When this happens, the court grants an automatic divorce. This often happens when authorities cannot locate the spouse, the spouse leaves jurisdiction without reason, or does not return from abroad.

4. Collaborative Divorce

It includes the parties working with their collaborative lawyer to settle without going to court. If they cannot settle, the lawyers must resign. After that, the parties start from scratch with new lawyers.

5. Summary Divorce

Finally, summary divorce is common in a few states, especially for short marriages that last less than five years. Couples who do not have joint debts, property, or children can opt for this. You need a lawyer to read the agreement and ensure everything is legal.

Average Retainer Fee of Divorce Attorneys

Divorces are expensive. That is why it is crucial to know the retainer fee of a divorce attorney before you decide. The average fee of a divorce attorney varies between $2,000 and $5,000 in the U.S.

The average retainer fee is around $3,500, but the fee will vary depending on where you live and who you hire. Large law firms are often the most expensive, with independent lawyers coming in on the lower end of the fee scale.

How To Find Legal Aid Or Pro Bono Divorce Attorneys?

If you do not have the means to afford a standard divorce attorney, you can always opt for legal aid. There are legal aid pro bono divorce attorneys out there to help you with your case. Here are a few ways you can apply for legal help:

  • Contact your city courthouse

  • Visit a law school to see if anyone is qualified to help you out

  • Contact your county or state bar association

  • Look into legal aid societies

  • Visit a small claims court

  • Visit the Pro Bono Resource Directory compiled by the American Bar Association

  • Call your local courthouse

No-Fault Divorce: What You Need to Know

A no-fault divorce takes place when the parties have irreconcilable differences. That means the couple does not get along, and there is no hope to reconcile. When you fill out the petition for a no-fault divorce, you do not have to let the court know what led to the divorce.

There is no need to tell the court if your spouse engaged in bad behavior. Most states allow no-fault divorce. These states include:

  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Nebraska
  • Wisconsin
  • Nevada
  • Montana
  • Missouri
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Kentucky
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Indiana
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • California
  • Colorado

No other states offer a no-fault divorce, as they do not recognize irreconcilable differences.

The Difference Between Divorce and Legal Separation

Legal separation takes place when a couple decides to put their marriage on hold. Both spouses live in different homes and live separate lives. You still legally need a court to approve your separation decision and agreement.

On the other hand, a divorce is the end of a marriage. The court needs to agree to the decision, and there is a division of all assets. Remember that both the processes cost you the same when it comes to a divorce lawyer.

Resources to Locate Divorce Attorneys Near You

Thanks to technology, there are many ways to find divorce attorneys where you live. A quick Google search will help you find divorce lawyers in your area. You can also opt for Resources from the American Bar Association. Besides that, you can also take recommendations from family or friends who have gone through a divorce. Speaking with former clients of an attorney gives you real feedback about their services and fees.