Have you and your spouse decided that you want to get a divorce? If so, you will need to find a lawyer to help guide you through it. Here are some questions you will want to ask during those first few consultations with your lawyer.
Will There Be A Waiting Period?
Be aware that each state has its own rules regarding waiting periods before you can get divorced. You may be surprised to learn that the waiting period can also change depending on if you have kids or not. This will be the absolute soonest time that you can get divorced, with many other factors playing a role.
What Factors Will Delay A Divorce?
When asking about potential delays in a divorce, your lawyer will likely ask you about the terms of your divorce so they can get a better handle on your specific situation. If the decision is mutual and it sounds like there are not many disagreements, this should help the divorce process go quickly. If you have disagreements and it is a contested divorce, it could take longer than expected.
Your lawyer will also let you know what the current court schedule is like. If the docket is completely filled with existing divorce cases, it could take awhile for your divorce to be finalized. This should give you a realistic idea of how long the process could take simply based on court availability.
Will The Divorce Be Expensive?
While you may be concerned about the cost of a divorce, the unfortunate answer is that it all depends on your specific situation. Your lawyer will tell you about known costs, such as filing fees, process serving fees, and the lawyer's retainer. However, there will also be hourly cost based on your lawyer's billable hours. If you have a contested divorce that will require a lot of mediation and going to trial, you can expect the amount of hours to be much higher than for a divorce where the couple agrees on the terms and just needs to formalize the decision. Some divorce lawyers even charge a flat fee for an uncontested divorce because it is very simple.
Can A Single Lawyer Work For Both People?
Some states allow a lawyer to work for both spouses when a divorce is not contested and will be collaborative in nature. However, having a contested divorce can cause a problem, because a lawyer will need to argue on one person's behalf. That will cause a conflict of interest and would require both sides to have their own lawyer.
Contact a divorce attorney in your area to learn more.
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