If you have decided to divorce in the Midwest, no matter how you choose to go about the process, you are going to need legal counsel. A Midwest divorce attorney will save you time, money, and stress and ultimately guide you to a more favorable result in your divorce case than you could have secured on your own. It’s vital to understand the value of reliable legal representation as you approach your divorce. Attempting to handle it yourself or choosing the wrong attorney can compound the stress and frustration that the divorce process usually entails.
Some people make the mistake of believing that hiring a divorce attorney would only matter in a high net worth divorce case or when their spouse is completely unwilling to compromise. The reality is that even if you and your spouse are perfectly reasonable and willing to negotiate, you still need legal representation to look out for your best interests throughout your divorce proceedings.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Put simply, you are much more likely to secure a favorable result in your divorce order when you have legal representation on your side. Your attorney can look out for your best interests through every phase of the divorce process and help you make more informed decisions about the terms of your divorce. Many people approach divorce with a mentality geared toward “getting it over with” so they can get on with their lives, but this thinking often leads to a greater need to revisit the divorce in the future and adjust the couple’s divorce terms.
An experienced attorney can streamline your divorce proceedings significantly, ultimately reducing the total cost of your divorce. Ending a marriage is typically very expensive and involves long-term financial implications, so hiring legal counsel at the outset will ultimately reduce the financial impact of your divorce.
Finally, an experienced Midwest divorce attorney will know the legal statutes likely to come into play as your divorce unfolds and help you prepare for these issues. Every divorce is unique, and having experienced legal counsel on your side who can accurately identify the challenges and opportunities you are likely to face is incredibly valuable for anyone in this situation.
Finding Potential Attorneys
While you should not wait too long to secure legal counsel for your divorce, you should not rush the decision, either. Take time to talk to friends, coworkers, neighbors, and relatives and ask them for their personal recommendations if they have recently divorced. You can also research local lawyers in your area and find those with the best reviews from past clients. Be sure to look at testimonials published on attorneys’ websites as well as reviews on third-party sites. Look for patterns and trends from past clients to determine how easy it should be to work with an attorney and try to develop a list of a few potential candidates.
Once you have narrowed your options down to a few attorneys who inspire the most confidence, start arranging consultations with these attorneys to interview them personally. A consultation is a low-cost initial meeting with an attorney that allows the attorney to evaluate the merits of your case while you evaluate the attorney’s suitability to represent you.
How to Approach a Consultation
Remember to treat your consultation like an interview. You should develop a list of questions to ask a potential lawyer to help you understand their legal philosophy and how they intend to approach your case. Consider a few examples of crucial questions you should ask a potential attorney before agreeing to their legal services:
- “How long have you practiced family law?” Experience is one of the most important factors to consider when hiring an attorney for any reason.
- “How much do you charge?” Find out how the attorney bills their time and services and how long they expect your case to take to get an idea of how much your legal fees will cost.
- “Do you notice anything unique about my divorce case?” An experienced divorce attorney should be able to quickly identify challenges and opportunities your case presents.
- “How will you approach my case?” Find out whether the attorney will help you pursue mediation or if they believe litigation offers the best chance of a positive outcome in your divorce.
- “What type of outcome do you expect from my divorce?” It’s not uncommon for people beginning the divorce process to hold unrealistic expectations about how their divorces will unfold.
These examples should help you start your list of questions but be sure to add more questions that are specific to your unique situation. Once you have had a few consultations with your top choices of prospective divorce attorneys in your area, you should be ready to decide which attorney you want to hire.
What to Expect From a Good Divorce Lawyer
Once you hire a Midwest divorce attorney, they should begin working on your case right away. One of the most important early concerns of any divorce case is financial disclosure. Both you and your spouse will need to provide complete and accurate financial records so you can reach a reasonably fair outcome in your divorce. Your attorney should assist you with this process, and they will likely uncover financial issues that you may have overlooked on your own.
Next, your attorney will help you determine the best approach to your divorce case. Most modern divorce lawyers encourage clients to pursue mediation because it offers significant advantages compared to litigation in virtually every case. Mediation is an opportunity to privately negotiate your divorce and retain a much greater level of control over the outcome than you would have through litigation.
It’s possible to mediate some aspects of your divorce and then move to litigation to handle the rest. This is common in high net worth divorce cases and other divorces with complex issues that require litigation review. A good Midwest divorce attorney will help you take advantage of mediation to the fullest extent possible and provide you with valuable legal guidance throughout the litigation process. Contact a Midwest divorce attorney as soon as possible once you have decided to divorce for the best chance of securing a favorable outcome in your case.