Know Before You Hire
Divorce is new territory for most who are approaching the process. Your first inclination may be to hire a divorce lawyer right off the bat. Divorce lawyers are expensive and will hold the outcome of your future in their hands, so make sure understand what you are paying for. Before you jump to retain someone, consider these points:
- You aren’t required to have a lawyer represent you. People represent themselves all the time in civil cases, divorce included. You do not need a law degree to handle your own divorce, but you do need a good idea of what you want out of the situation.
- Many lawyers charge hourly, for everything. The fee structures for lawyers can be mystifying. A divorce lawyer will typically require a retainer to start your case. After that has been exhausted, you will be billed hourly for all the work done on your case. This can add up even in the simplest of divorce cases.
- A lawyer can’t guarantee results. No matter how aggressive or expensive your lawyer is, he or she cannot guarantee you will get what you want. Your lawyer can only negotiate with your spouse’s lawyer. If they are unsuccessful, your case may go to trial. Trial is high risk for all involved.
- Your lawyer might be busy, and that can prolong your case. Your case won’t be the only one your lawyer is working on. This may result in your case taking longer than you’d like. You may have to wait several days to hear back from your lawyer if you have questions about your case. Some clients are fine with this. Others may want more individual attention.
- Divorce lawyers can have different styles. Not all lawyers are created equal. You could end up working with a lawyer you don’t get along well with or one that doesn’t instill confidence in you. It is expensive to switch lawyers because you will have to pay the new lawyer to play catch up. The lesson: be careful whom you hire to represent you. Divorce is an emotional experience where the stakes are high. It is vital you hire a lawyer you get along with and trust.
Many people hire divorce lawyers to handle their cases but do so without understanding the costs and benefits of having legal representation. Unfortunately, a lawyer is often a significant investment, and this can leave many feeling like they didn’t get what they paid for. Hopefully, the information above will provide some guidance if you decide to hire a lawyer to handle your divorce.
Do you have questions about how to divorce amicably? If so, Mediation Advantage Services can help. Polly A. Tatum has the skills and experience needed to help you and your spouse divorce amicably and without lawyers. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at 508-795-1557, fill out our online form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.