What to Expect From a Local Divorce Lawyer
Are you looking for a divorce attorney but don’t know where to begin? Are you ending your marriage, but the split is complicated? Learn more about what you should look for when hiring an attorney near you.
So, your marriage has ended. Now what?
Finding a Local Divorce Lawyer
Leaving your spouse is already one of the most difficult parts of a failing marriage. Finding the right attorney in Bell County, Texas, shouldn’t add to your problems. As you choose your attorney, you have many things to consider beyond whether or not they'll win your case, including their specialty, experience, and location. But how do you know if your chosen lawyer is a good fit for your circumstances? If you're considering a divorce attorney in Temple or Killeen, Texas, find out what you should look for before hiring a local attorney.
Hiring a lawyer near you
Breaking up is hard to do. First, you have to figure out who keeps the kids, keeps the house, and keeps the dog. Dissolving your marriage can be messy, painful, and complicated. In some situations, there are higher risks, such as the potential of losing custody to an abusive spouse or having your hard-earned retirement fund pulled out from under you. Then you hire an attorney in another state or another county. In the end, you find out it was a waste of money. There are probably a million different scenarios where hiring an attorney in any area is a good idea. But, when it comes to splitting from your spouse? Hiring a local divorce lawyer is always better. Here’s why.
Local attorneys have connections
When it comes to anything in life, knowing what to expect helps us navigate the situation better. A local attorney is the best choice because they will give you great legal advice for this particular jurisdiction and court system with direct knowledge of local laws and customs.
Although we would like to think of all judges and attorneys as impartial, the truth is that almost everyone holds some form of internal bias. Yes, even in the courtroom. If you work with a local attorney, they’ll personally know the judges and opposing attorneys in your area as well, likely through local legal organizations, the state bar, and during other legal proceedings. In addition, with a local attorney, they’ll know a judge’s behavior, personality, and preferences so you know what to expect in advance.
Hiring an attorney near you is cheaper
Let’s face it: splitting up isn’t easy, and it certainly isn’t free. But, can you imagine the bill if a lawyer charges you for travel, on top of their normal hourly or per diem fees? Especially if they charge you for mileage, too? If your attorney is local, you can avoid the extra travel charges altogether. This way, you'll have money left over to spend on whatever is necessary to heal your broken heart the right way. Always choose a local divorce lawyer for you case.
Location, location, location
When it comes to legal separation and custody, having your attorney nearer is simply better. You want to make sure that the attorney you choose is local and will be available for court appearances and other legal matters whenever necessary. Unfortunately, emergency motions and filings will need immediate attention. Plus, it’s significantly more convenient if your attorney is around the corner. If they are closer, you can pop into their office more easily as well.
Now that you know more about why hiring a lawyer near you is a wise decision, discover what else to look for before making your final hiring decision for a local divorce lawyer.
Attorneys can handle complicated issues
Sure, you can file for divorce on your own. For those cut-and-dry separation and custody situations where the terms are agreed upon, you might fare well if you know how to complete the proper forms. However, there are times when it is necessary to hire an experienced local attorney to handle more complicated aspects of ending your marriage.
For example, if there is a dispute over alimony or child custody, if there has been prior abuse or domestic violence, if you are fighting over spousal support or property division, or if one spouse is addicted to drugs, it is wise to hire an experienced separation and custody lawyer willing to go to war on your behalf. It may also be necessary to hire a local attorney if one spouse has mental or physical health issues that make it difficult for them to function properly in their own right.
Whatever the unique characteristics of your particular case, it is always best to have a local attorney by your side for more complex separation and custody situations.
Attorneys can help save you time and money
A failed marriage is one of the most difficult and emotional events in a person's life. It can also be costly and time-consuming, thanks to lawyer fees, court costs, and child support payments. Or if your spouse disputes every tiny filing or motion from you with another, leading to surprise court appearances without much notice, if any at all.
Hiring an experienced local attorney can make all the difference in your case and can help navigate these confusing, complex, and frustrating issues to help wrap up your split in a more timely manner. In addition, by doing so, a local lawyer might be able to save you expensive legal fees over time.
Local attorneys might know something that you don’t
Most people who legally dissolve their marriage do so without a stream of endless issues. In fact, most spouses are so eager to break up that they’ll do just about anything to get the ordeal over with. However, even those individuals might miss out on larger settlements and better custody agreements because they didn’t have the right attorney on the case. Instead, find a local attorney who specializes in marriage dissolutions and custody. That way, you’re not missing out on monies you are owed or sufficient time with your children. Having a local divorce lawyer will benefit you throughout the trial.
Hire an attorney with a good reputation
Reputation is everything. If you’re looking around for an attorney, it helps to read their online reviews on social media business pages, search engine business pages, and review websites. Ultimately, an attorney’s work speaks for itself, and prior clients will let you know where they excel or if there’s a problem. Of course, take what some prior clients say online with a grain of salt. They may be a bitter spouse who didn’t get every little thing they wanted from custody or separation, and if they were leaving a review in person, they’d be less likely to be so harsh.
Another way to find an attorney with a good reputation is to simply ask around. If you have friends or family who managed to make it out on the other side of a messy split, ask them who their attorney was. Find out what they did poorly, what they did well and ask what they normally charge.
Once you have gathered all the information from online reviews, friends, and family members, it’s a good idea to make a list of what you’re looking for and add names to each category to narrow down your options. Of course, every situation, marriage, and attorney is different, but you need a local attorney that suits your unique needs for your situation.
Book a consultation with an attorney
Sometimes, the only way to determine if an attorney is right for you is to call them or meet with them. If you’re lucky, they’ll offer a free consultation either via telephone or in-person. A few attorneys will charge a small fee to talk to them and receive advice for an hour of their time. If the attorney has a stellar reputation, it can’t hurt to pay their fee if they offer exceptional legal advice.
Of course, in-person visits are often better when it comes to custody and separation. That way, your attorney can see your mannerisms and facial expressions to better understand your desperation and situation.
Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer
Prepare a list of questions before your consultation so you know what to ask. That way, you’re sure to find an attorney that matches your personality and understands your peculiar circumstances.
Some important questions for divorce attorneys include:
- Do you specialize in custody and marriage dissolution?
- Will anyone else be working on my case from your office?
- How do you charge your clients, and what do you estimate the total cost to be for my case?
- What is the estimated turnaround time for your services and return phone calls?
- How do you think this case will turn out for my children and me?
- Do you prefer our discussions over email or telephone, or in-person?
Think of other questions as they pertain to you and your circumstances. Most attorneys are used to being asked similar questions, so they are unlikely to be offended. Knowing the answers to your questions will help guide you toward the right attorney for your marital dissolution. Your local divorce lawyer will be happy that you are well prepared.
A local attorney will help you understand your rights
Legalese regarding separation and custody can be difficult for even a genius to comprehend. In actuality, local laws and regulations regarding just about everything can be rather confusing.
Fortunately, an attorney can help you figure out what you deserve and explain complex legal phrases in Layman’s terms. No matter what has occurred since you said the words “I do,” you may have rights to your children and fair distribution of your assets. Depending on your state and the terms of your settlement, you may also have rights to alimony, child support, or use of the marital home as well.
An attorney can help find loopholes
In addition to legalese comprehension difficulties for the average person, finding loopholes that might help you win your case can be even harder. That’s where an attorney comes in. They have attended law school for years, passed the bar exam, and are now licensed to practice near you. It’s safe to say that most attorneys who specialize in custody and dissolving marriages can find any loopholes to help win your case.
Your attorney will be there when no one else is
Truth be told, when marriages end, so do friendships and other relationships. This can break your heart in ways you never imagined possible before your split, and it’s a consequence of separation that most outsiders will never understand. However, when you have a devoted, empathetic, and experienced attorney by your side, you’ll feel stronger and more supported, even as others choose to leave your life (or if you chose to remove them).
The right attorney will ease your burden
Unless you've been through it yourself or have witnessed someone experience it before, it's hard to imagine how stressful ending your marriage can be. Whether or not the split itself was an amicable decision, there might be issues that arise later that require more in-depth review or research by a professional and licensed attorney.
When you dissolve your marriage, you already have a plethora of issues to consider. Issues such as child custody, division of financial assets, and splitting and paying for marital debt, in addition to deciding who keeps the house, who drives what car, and who will keep the furniture and pets, can all weigh on your heart like a ton of bricks. The right attorney will help ease this burden and make it possible for you to lift the weight of the world off your shoulders.
Call our Local Divorce Lawyers
At our firm, our local divorce lawyers understand how painful it is to leave your marriage. But even though your union is no longer, you don’t have to go through dissolving your marriage alone. If you’re near Temple, Killeen, or Bell County, Texas, we’re here to help you get through this. Let us manage the legal aspects of your split so you can focus more on what matters, healing, and spending time with your children. Contact a lawyer online or give us a call at 254-523-4446 to book your initial consultation with a local divorce lawyer and begin your healing journey today.