divorce with children

Navigating a Divorce with Children Involved

About 50% of American children will experience a parental divorce at some point. Even when the decision to divorce is the best thing for the kids involved, this is still a stressful and difficult time. It’s important that parents navigate divorce with children the right way to minimize the mental and emotional toll on their little ones.

Here, we’re going to discuss the basics of separating when children are involved. Read on to learn how to talk with your kids, determine custody agreements, and more.

Talking to Children About Divorce

Children are going to ask questions immediately after you inform them of your divorce. The specifics of these questions will depend on their age. Younger kids may not even know what divorce is, so you might need to start with the basics.

Don’t shy away from any questions that they have. Being secretive will likely make them anxious and confused in an already stressful time.

It also may make them more curious so they seek out answers elsewhere. You don’t want them learning about divorce from inaccurate websites or misinformed classmates. Be open, honest, and transparent.

You and the other parent need to make time to sit down with your child and tell them what’s happening. Stress that you love them and both plan to remain part of their lives. Tell them about potential life changes like visitation, school changes, and more.

Openness is key, and informing children of how you plan to meet their emotional needs is even more important.

What About Special Situations?

If you and your ex are simply fighting your way through an acrimonious divorce, your children don’t need to know about your resentment for each other. In fact, they shouldn’t.

It’s important to remain cordial in front of the kids regardless of how difficult that is. Fighting and arguing can be traumatic. It could even make them feel aggressive and decrease their cognitive skills.

Remember that both parents are important to the child. Put their needs first by remaining civil.

However, there are special cases including:

  • Situations of domestic violence
  • One parent leaving the children as well as the spouse
  • A parent being in jail

In these cases, you may need the help of a family therapist to explain what’s happening to the children. If you don’t feel equipped to handle a sensitive and potentially triggering topic, take yourself and your child to a professional that will help you explain the situation.

Determining Custody Arrangements

There are multiple types of custody arrangements available to parents. In cases of regular divorce, you likely will retain joint custody of the child.

Sharing custody means that both parents will be involved in decisions regarding the kids. Some decisions might include education, moral development, and medical care.

This can be challenging when parents don’t live together. Children may spend the school week with one parent and the weekends with the other if you live nearby. They may spend the school year with one parent and breaks with the other if you don’t live in the same state or region.

Hiring a divorce lawyer can help you figure out the right type of custody arrangement in your situation. An attorney can discuss realistic possibilities, visitation rights, and more. They also can help you figure out how to talk to children about the divorce’s impact on their daily lives, location, and education.

Custody Battles

In the best-case scenario, you and your ex will be able to decide on a custody arrangement with minimal issues. You will sit down with a mediator and focus on what’s best for the kids. Being civil and realistic can save you and your children a lot of stress.

However, in some cases, a custody battle is inevitable. You’ll first need to attempt mediation or prove why doing so is hopeless. Domestic abuse cases are usually the ones with hopeless mediation.

In a custody battle, you’ll need to:

  • Work with a lawyer to gather evidence to support custody-related arguments
  • Give your ex-spouse copies of this evidence in a process known as “discovery”
  • Present your side at a trial/hearing
  • Adhere to the plan that the court rules as best for the child

Do not overly involve your children in the process of a custody battle. They do not need to hear about your bitter arguing. However, you might work with a lawyer or therapist to discuss the child’s needs and wants when it comes to their living situation and education.

Many custody battles end in sharing custody. However, if domestic violence or neglect is present, one parent may be awarded full custody.

In these cases, the other parent may or may not end up with supervised visitation. It’s important that you are fully aware of all specifics regarding custody. Both parents need to know their rights.

Figuring Out Finances

Families with joint custody need to determine which parent is responsible for the child’s financial needs. In some cases, one parent may pay for their education and travel needs while the other buys food and daily necessities. In other situations, parents may pay for all needs when they are looking after the child.

This is something to discuss with a lawyer present. Make an agreement in writing. Fill out legally-binding paperwork to protect both parties.

In situations where one parent gets full custody, child support and alimony payments may be in order. This means that the absent parent pays a certain amount monthly to contribute to the child’s upkeep. It may happen in situations where one parent chooses to give up the child or after situations of abuse/neglect.

You’ll need to go through the courts to determine the ins and outs of child support payments. An experienced attorney can help to get you the highest possible sum.

Have a Smooth Divorce With Children Involved

Now that you know some tips to make a divorce with children less stressful, it’s time to begin looking for a family attorney. Family Attorneys Near Me is committed to offering free information and resources for family legal issues.

We’ll help you find a divorce/custody lawyer to help you navigate this difficult time. Contact us with any questions you have about finding an attorney, the consultation process, and beyond.

selecting a divorce lawyer

Selecting a Divorce Lawyer: Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Divorce is common, and a sore spot for many people each year. Right now, divorces happen at a rate of 2.5 per 1,000 people, per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

If you happen to be among them, the main way to soothe this stress and move forward with life is by finding the help of a divorce attorney. Learning more about hiring an attorney for your case will help you make the right legal arrangement, so that your case is resolved peacefully and in your favor. 

To make this happen, there are some common mistakes you need to avoid when selecting a divorce lawyer. 

Not Exploring Your Reasons for Divorcing

It’s important that you consider your reasons for divorcing your spouse. When your reasons are clear and laid out, you’ll also be clear on the type of lawyer that you need to hire. You might need a certain law firm to assist you in a cooperative divorce. These lawyers might even have mediators on staff that can smooth things out and help the two of you come to some workable compromises. 

You may need a lawyer with extensive divorce trial experience if your case is contentious or stressful. There may also be some special circumstances that dictate the type of attorneys you hire. 

For example, you will have different circumstances that you’re working with for a military divorce than you would for a civilian divorce. Other lawyers might specialize in clients with large sums of money and expensive assets on the line. Figure out the details of what you need and it’ll help you when it’s time to make a hire. 

Failing to Vet Their Credibility and Read Reviews

Reading online reviews is one of the best ways to find leads on an attorney that can help you with your divorce case. These reviews will give you a head start on what you should know about hiring a lawyer, along with their strengths, credibility, and main areas of specialty. 

Hearing about how other people have found success with a lawyer can help you feel more at peace with your decision to hire them. Make sure to also choose someone who has proven experience that you can verify by checking with the bar association. They need to be qualified to practice in your state, whether your case ends in a trial or a peaceful divorce settlement. 

Foregoing a Pre-Hire Meeting

Another common. mistake divorcees make is either skipping out on the pre-hire consultation, or not taking it seriously enough. This is the time that you get to have all of your questions answered, while also finding out if the firm you are considering is the most qualified to take your case. 

People often rush through these meetings or don’t think to ask all of the questions that they have on their minds. Do your research going into the meeting so that you are fully prepared, and that you only hire a lawyer once they have the answers that you’re looking for. 

Not Exploring Their Fees

Start comparing lawyer fees so that you’re able to get the most from you hiring experience. While divorcing requires the best legal help that you can find, you should never overspend on the service that they offer. Get about four different estimates to make sure that you have an idea of what the market is charing for these legal services. 

Ask the lawyer about how they structure their fees. Most lawyers will charge by the hour for divorce legal services. Find out their billing practices and get them in writing to make sure they operate with complete transparency. 

You Didn’t Do Enough Research

Even though you’re hiring the lawyer to take over your case, the onus is still on you to do some research into the different firms available. Learn as much as you can about divorce law in your state and compare notes with the law firm to make sure you’re all on the same page. 

You should do as much research into their prior record to make sure that they have the divorce case experience you need to win your case. Many people are so anxious to hire a lawyer that they don’t do enough due diligence. And unfortunately, they end up paying for it in the end. 

Not Reaching Out to Your Inner Circle

You should also ask the people closest to you who have divorced about their experience with the lawyers that they hired. These are the people closest to you, so they are an excellent source of information anytime you need help getting referrals or leads on a good divorce firm. 

Find out as much detail as you can about what they liked or disliked about the firm, and whether they would recommend them to others. 

Forgetting to Look at the Big Picture

Several people also make the mistake of not looking at the big picture with their case. Divorce is a lifelong decision, so you need to choose a lawyer who can not just handle the initial hearing, but who can also foresee issues that might come up in the future. 

This might include things like ongoing child custody hearings, changes in child support, or seeking alimony. 

Selecting a Divorce Lawyer That Can Help You

These tips are helpful when you’re selecting a divorce lawyer that can assist you with your case. 

Family Attorneys Near Me is the directory that you need to rely on when you’re interested in finding a quality set of attorneys that can help you with your legal needs. Rely on us for content that can help you out, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions that you have. 

divorce attorney

The Most Common Reasons People Seek a Divorce Attorney

A divorce can be a complicated and emotional legal process. Even if both spouses agree that it’s time to part ways, there can still be intricate issues to resolve and complex steps to follow. 

While you may prefer to work through this process on your own, it’s best to hire a divorce attorney. This expert will be able to support you throughout this journey and make sure everything is completed correctly.

Today, we’re sharing the most common reasons why people seek out this type of legal support, and how to get in touch with our divorce attorneys today. 

Obtain Professional Advice

A divorce lawyer will understand all of the legal nuances that apply to your case. Each divorce is unique, but there are state laws that will apply in every case. Your attorney can walk you and your spouse through the entire process, from start to finish.

Often, this means helping each party understand what they are entitled to, depending on the specific situation. They can also advise you on how to handle complicated issues, such as:

  • Child custody 
  • Child support
  • Debts and assets
  • Future assets
  • Substantial income

When you work with your spouse alone, the issues can get messy, not to mention heated. Having a lawyer present can keep your conversations cordial and productive. Your attorney can also help protect your interests in the event of a divorce, helping to ensure that you receive everything you’re entitled to. 

Avoid Costly Mistakes

Unless you are trained and experienced in the field of family law, it’s all too easy to make a mistake when filing your divorce papers. There are two reasons this can happen.

First, the legal system is inherently complicated and filled with industry jargon. There is the potential for many small errors to occur. Some might seem minuscule in context, but they can have long-reaching implications. 

For example, you may forget to include a detail about your personal finances, such as the credit card debt you’ve incurred. Or, in your rush to get the process over with, you could have misjudged the value of a particular asset. These mistakes might seem insignificant in the larger picture, but they could have a major impact on your divorce proceeding. 

Second, a divorce is emotional and stressful. When you’re in the throes of one, it can be difficult to shift into an organized, administrative mindset. You might not be able to think clearly, much less obtain, complete, and file the requisite paperwork. 

Your divorce lawyer will help you complete each part of the case, making sure you don’t miss a single detail. This way, you can avoid making an omission or error that could affect your long-term outcome. 

Minimize Stress

According to one survey, 44% of people believe that a divorce is one of the most stressful life events that anyone can go through. Your emotions during this time are completely valid and natural, but they can make the process much more difficult. 

This is one of the most important reasons you should hire a divorce lawyer. Yes, your attorney will need to gather details and information from both of you. However, once they have the data and documents they need, they can take care of almost all of the remaining paperwork and procedures. 

This means that you have more time to turn inward and focus on yourself, as well as your family. This can be an incredibly freeing opportunity, allowing you to devote more free time to your work, your children, or your loved ones.

A divorce can be taxing and stressful enough. Allow an attorney to handle the legal legwork so you don’t have to.

Clarify Your Intentions

It’s important to realize that divorce decrees are classified as clear and binding agreements. In short, this is a type of contract between two parties that is enforceable by the law. 

Before you enter into one, it’s critical to make sure you completely understand all of the stated terms. The divorce documents that you present to the court should be thorough and accurate, and a lawyer will guarantee that this is the case.

Without their support and counsel, you could submit documents that do not entirely represent your intentions. Or, the court could misunderstand the points you intended to make. As a result, the official divorce decree could wind up containing terms you are not 100% comfortable abiding by. 

Divorce lawyers know how to analyze each legal document for accuracy. They will make sure each one you present is free of any errors, as well as any ambiguous or unclear language that could make the agreement difficult to enforce. 

Expedite the Process

When an error occurs during a divorce proceeding, it takes time to resolve. This could mean dragging your divorce case out even longer. 

Even if you’re careful to use only court-provided documents, you could still make a mistake. For instance, you could complete the wrong form, provide inaccurate information, or fail to include a key document. If there’s an issue with the paperwork (or any other part of the process), the court could take longer to reach a ruling. 

With the best divorce attorney by your side, you can avoid these frustrating delays and finalize your divorce as quickly as possible. 

Hire a Divorce Attorney Today

As you can see, there are many benefits to hiring a divorce attorney! This legal process can be complex, stressful, and tense, and it isn’t one that you want to tackle on your own. A divorce lawyer can help you complete everything in a timely and accurate manner. 

If you’re going through a divorce, we can help you find the experienced, reputable family lawyer you need. Create an account on our website to join our community and use our online search tool to find local attorneys near you!


Cohabitation Rights: Property Rights For Unmarried Couples

Cohabitation agreements are essential if you and your partner live with one another but are unmarried. Did you know that more than twelve million unmarried couples live in the United States today, and most of them are unaware of cohabitation agreements?

When you have this agreement in place, you not only protect yourself financially but emotionally as well. No one wants to have to go to court after a breakup.

Please continue reading below if you want to learn more about your cohabitation rights and what a cohabitation agreement can do for you and your partner. We will cover what you need to know about this document and who you can contact for more assistance. 

What Is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a mutually binding agreement that details your and your partner’s rights in the relationship. The primary purpose of this agreement is to ensure that both parties are financially protected if the relationship ends. The document can also cover provisions such as visitation rights and custody of your children. 

What Are the Cohabitation Property Rights for Unmarried Couples?

The specific rules for cohabitation property rights vary per state, but there are a few basic legal principles that are similar across the country. For example, the property laws that govern married couples who divorce don’t apply to those who live together and are unmarried unless you and your partner qualify under common law marriage or domestic partner laws.

Debt and Property Division

In a traditional marriage, the married couple share debts or assets acquired during the marriage. Of course, this can change if there is a prenuptial agreement.

If there is a prenup, the division of assets and debts will follow the agreed-upon terms on the prenuptial document. With unmarried couples, each individual is responsible for their own debts and property unless the two have a joint account or have both names on the property deed. 

Cohabitation agreements

Because no laws surround the division of property, other assets, or debt, you and your partner can create a cohabitation property agreement. You can create this document with a reputable attorney to ensure that your assets are adequately covered. 

What to include in a cohabitation agreement:

  • Who owns newly acquired assets
  • How you or your partner will manage credit cards and bank accounts
  • Who owns specific assets
  • How to distribute assets if there is a separation
  • What process will be used if there is a dispute in property rights
  • If and how you and your partner share expenses

This list is only an example of what you can list on your cohabitation property agreement. When you partner with a reputable attorney, they can help you sort out what to put on your agreement to cover your and your partner’s wishes. 

Cohabitation Agreement vs. Wills and Trusts

Even though this document lists out who owns what in the relationship, it does not cover if the surviving partner receives property. The surviving cohabiting partner has no property rights.

The only way the surviving cohabiting partner can receive property is if the deceased left it to them in a will or a trust. The other exception is if the surviving partner is listed on the property as well. If they are, then they are entitled to half of the property. 

Depending on the state you live in, you may have a right to inherit a portion of the deceased’s property if the state recognizes domestic partnerships. To be on the safe side, it is best to speak with an attorney about your options. 

What Is the Importance of a Cohabitation Agreement?

Getting a cohabitation agreement completed early in the relationship is crucial to ensure that you and your partner are financially covered if you two decide to split up. Because you aren’t married, you may think it will be easy to take what is yours or what you believe is yours and move on. That is not always the case. 

If your ex-partner believes they should own a specific piece of property, they might try to take you to court. They could also argue that you owe them money or other assets you acquired while you were together. 

In the event that your ex does try to argue that you owe them something, but you know you don’t and you have it in writing, you will have an easier time in court. Most courts uphold these documents so long as they are in writing and completed before the split. 

How To Find the Right Attorney

If you wish to create a cohabitation agreement, reach out to a reputable family lawyer who has experience creating this document. As mentioned earlier, they can help you create this document in a way that works best for you and your partner.

It is best not to assume the marital laws in your state apply to your relationship because they most likely don’t unless you qualify for domestic partnership or common law. You can speak with your lawyer about your options if you are unsure if you qualify under those two. 

Create a Cohabitation Agreement That Works

Cohabitation agreements aren’t well known because many couples assume they qualify under common law or domestic partnership laws. Not everyone meets these requirements; unfortunately, they find that out when they split up. Even worse, they learn that the property and assets they agreed to share are not really theirs because they did not agree in writing.

To ensure that you and your partner are financially covered in the event of a break-up, you may want to consider a cohabitation agreement. If you want to learn more about this document or you wish to start the process, submit your information to find the right attorney for you.

real estate valuation

How Does a Real Estate Valuation Affect a Divorce?

According to reports, 75% of seniors say their home is their most valuable asset. And 74% say that purchasing a home was one of the best financial decisions they ever made.

But what happens if you’re facing divorce, and have to split your home down the middle? 

Dividing assets during divorce can be a tough process, and the larger the asset the more important it is to get a fair split.

This is where real estate valuation comes in.

Getting a professional real estate valuation can be an important step when splitting assets. 

Keep reading to find out how a real estate valuation can affect divorce, and when to get one. 

What Role Does Real Estate Valuation Have in Divorce?

As we said above, real estate assets are usually one of the largest assets couples own together. Because of this, a real estate valuation is a standard procedure during divorce asset evaluation. 

By getting your joint property professionally evaluated you can move forward on how you’re going to split the asset.

However, there are times when a couple might choose to forgo an evaluation. 

A large majority of couples choose to sell their home and divide the proceeds. If you’re opting for this path, you might not need a real estate evaluation. Once the property sells, you can simply split the proceeds. 

A professional valuation of real estate assets can cost a few thousand dollars. If couples have determined a percentage split on the proceeds of the property sale, they can do this without incurring the expense of an evaluation. 

However, if one spouse wants to keep the home, they will need to pay the other spouse out for their share of the value. In this case, a professional real estate valuation is critical. 

Once the valuation has taken place, the spouse who’s opting to keep the home or property then has two choices. They can either forfeit other assets they’re entitled to in the divorce settlement, such as investments, vehicles, or other valuables—or refinance the home. 

If they choose to refinance, the spouse who’s keeping the home will then take on the new mortgage, and the other will receive a cash payout. 

How Real Estate Valuation Is Determined

There are a few ways you can get a real estate valuation done. You can either opt for a:

  • Formal appraisal
  • Comparative market analysis
  • Broker price opinion
  • Property tax assessment

Some couples also use online price estimator tools such as Zillow or Redfin. However, these are the least accurate option, and we would not recommend them. 

A formal appraisal is the best option and gives the most comprehensive results. During a formal appraisal, the appraiser will walk through and thoroughly evaluate your home. 

You can also opt for a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate broker. The broker will evaluate your home’s potential selling price based on its features and how they compare to similar properties in your area that have recently sold. 

Some couples choose to seek a broker price opinion. This is similar to a CMA, but with less focus on comparative properties. Because of this, it’s usually less accurate than a CMA. 

Lastly, you can also use your property tax assessment to estimate value. However, this isn’t usually advisable. Property tax assessments aren’t updated regularly enough to reliably reflect a true market value.  

When to Get a Real Estate Valuation Done

Divorce can be a lengthy process, and it can be hard to know when is the right time to get a real estate valuation done. 

If you get a real estate valuation done early, this will give you more clarity on the value of the total joint assets. However, if one spouse is keeping the home and opting to refinance it—doing this too soon can increase their interest rate. 

Appraising too early can also trigger other additional expenses. For instance, if your property gets appraised by someone who’s not prepared to testify if your case goes to court, you’ll have to pay for another appraisal. 

Additionally, if property market values shift between the appraisal date and your divorce finalization, you might also have to get it re-done. 

However, there might be some situations where it’s best to get an early appraisal done. 

For instance, if one spouse wants to keep the home and the other needs their share of the equity to purchase a new home for themselves—the couple may choose to go ahead with splitting the property before the divorce proceedings have been finalized. 

Living together while divorcing can be very stressful and emotional, which is why some couples take this route. However, be aware that this can cause complications later on down the line if one party decides to contest the divorce proceedings. 

What to Do if There Are Disputes on Property Value

Speaking of disputes, what are your options if there’s a dispute on the value of any real estate assets with divorce?

If you or your spouse disagrees with the results of a real estate valuation you have a few choices. You can either:

  • Have two separate appraisals carried out and pick a value that’s midway between the two
  • Seek moderation
  • Allow the court to decide

If you disagree with a property valuation, we’d recommend the first option. It might cost more in the short term, but it can benefit your finances in the long run. 

Divorce can have long-term impacts on your financial health. For instance, 20% of women fall into poverty after a divorce. 

Regardless of your sex, it’s important to ensure you’re working with an accurate evaluation so joint assets are split fairly. 

If you don’t, this could impact you for years to come. For instance, let’s say you’re keeping the home and refinancing. If the real estate valuation overestimates the value of the property, you’ll have to take out a larger mortgage and meet higher payments every month. 

Do You Need Legal Help Splitting Assets?

Dividing assets is one of the areas that can make divorce complicated. If you own a home together, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to get a real estate valuation carried out to ensure a fair split. 

Are you in need of more info about the divorce process? Browse through our site for a wealth of free information and resources. 

Need legal help? Use our directory to find a divorce lawyer to defend your interests. 

divorce lawyer

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

Marriage is considered a permanent agreement between two parties, however, in the United States, statistics show that the average length of a marriage is 8.2 years. If you are here, it is likely that you are considering divorcing your partner, or know someone who is. No one ever hopes for it to end like this, and it is unfortunate that it has come to this. 

This article helps guide you through the key questions you need to ask your divorce lawyer before taking them on board during this sensitive time. Divorce can be one of the most traumatic experiences you go through, so it is important that you have the right legal, psychological, and emotional support you need during this time. 

Let’s get started!

1. How Long Have You Been Practicing as a Divorce Lawyer?

Talk to your lawyer about their credentials, how long they have been in practice and what kind of law they have been practicing. Ideally, you want someone who has experience in dealing with various matters pertaining to family law within the state you are in. 

Keep in mind that laws vary from state to state, and you need your divorce attorney to be well versed with the local laws where your case will be heard.

Which law school did they attend? When did they answer the Bar? How often do they go to the local family courts? 

The essentials to keep in mind are: credentials, experience, knowledge, and location of the practice. 

2. Do You Know My Spouse or Their Attorney?

Next, you must make sure that there is no conflict of interest. Does your attorney know your spouse? Do they know your spouse’s parents? 

Do they know your children? Do they know your spouse’s attorney? If so, how well do they know them? 

Ask them about their relationship (if any) with anyone associated with the case and examine whether you have anything to worry about. It is generally better to do a brief background examination before you meet your lawyer, just so that in the event that there is something worth investigating, you’ll know where to press. 

3. What Is Your Philosophy for Divorce Cases and What Is Your Strategy for Mine? 

Law firms as well as individual family lawyers have certain principles that guide the way they go about handling a case. Ask your divorce lawyer what their philosophy is. 

Additionally, how do they intend to put this into practice while handling your case? What is their strategy for getting you the outcome you want? 

During this stage, you must examine how confident you feel in your lawyer’s abilities to assess and advise you on your matter.

Do they seem like they are making big promises without a lot of substance? Is their strategy practical? Does it address the needs you specified to them? 

4. Have You Handled Similar Cases Before?

Once you’ve laid out the facts of your case, make sure to ask them whether they’ve had similar cases before. If they have, how did they handle them? Consider the strategies employed in previous cases, and how the client’s interests were addressed in the outcome.

What were the outcomes of those cases? Did they all go to trial? Were there any out-of-court settlements? 

If your spouse has a difficult personality it will also serve you well to ask your lawyer if they have any experience dealing with these personality styles. For example, divorcing someone who is narcissistic is a far more difficult and volatile experience than someone who is more agreeable. Negotiating with a narcissist can be extremely challenging on its own and you need a lawyer who is familiar with these patterns to help you protect your interests. 

5. What Are My Options Considering the Facts of This Case?

While asking a lawyer for their strategy, don’t forget to insist on hearing about alternatives too. There is almost always more than one way to handle things and you need to make sure your lawyer is painting a complete picture for you. 

What is your best course of action? How many options do you have? What are the merits and demerits of your case? How is a judge likely to rule given your circumstances? Is mediation preferable, considering your interests? 

Press your lawyer on matters that are priorities to you. 

6. Will You Personally Be Handling My Case or Assigning it to Someone Else?

It can so happen that the lawyer you meet with is not the only lawyer handling your case. Make sure to talk to the lawyer about who is really representing you and which of their fellow associates will be handling your case. 

Who do you call if you have questions? Who should you expect an update from? What should you do in the event of an emergency? Who is your point of contact? 

In the event that your case goes to court, who will be representing you?

You need to be ascertained that you are getting one on one attention with your attorney, particularly when times get rough. 

7. Can You Give Me an Estimate for This Divorce?

Finally, you have a budget and you need to know that your lawyer is within your budget. So talk to them about their charges, but also make sure to question them on the other financial repercussions of the case. 

This includes alimony, division of assets, maintenance, and more. 

Talk to a Family Law Attorney Who Cares

Hiring a divorce lawyer is not an easy process especially when you are in such a vulnerable, transitional phase of your life. 

We’re here to make it selection process a little easier on you. Type in your zip code and click the search bar to immediately access qualified divorce lawyers in your area or browse through your options via state or field of practice. Schedule a few consultations with promising attorneys, ask them your questions and soon you’ll have an experienced legal professional to take some of that weight off your shoulders!

Thinking About Divorce? Here’s What You Need to Know

Having a life partner is a wonderful feeling. Being able to share your daily life with a person who cares deeply about you is something you can cherish forever. However, as with many situations in life, sometimes, things just don’t work out. In the United States, the most recent divorce rate is 2.9 per 1,000 population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As the U.S. Census Bureau reports in the 2017 Current Population Survey, there are approximately 130 million married adults in America, but close to half of all marriages end in divorce.

Divorces are fairly common in our society, as it’s important that people have an avenue to exit an unhealthy relationship. Divorce can be different for everyone, as each relationship will have its own ups and downs and its own strengths and weaknesses.

It’s part of life that sometimes people may grow apart and may be better off on their own. If you’re thinking about divorce, here’s what you need to know to keep your family happy and healthy.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

There’s no secret that every relationship takes a lot of work. You can’t put minimal effort in and expect marriage to thrive and last forever. Relationships are built on love, trust, and communication, and if you’re missing one of these core pillars, you’ll really struggle to keep things going.

While you should certainly do your part to make your marriage work, you also should feel proud of yourself for doing the best you could. There comes a time when you realize that things just aren’t working, and perhaps for your safety, wellbeing and personal happiness you’ll be more successful if you’re separated.

The key is that you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself once you reach the point of moving forward separately. This is especially true if you are the victim of physical, verbal and/or emotional abuse.

If you have been mistreated, neglected and/or lied to by an unfaithful, unloyal or uncaring partner, then you should try your best to find a safe space where you can talk about your feelings and process what your future could be.

Your spouse’s behavior may be out of your control, and you need support and guidance to help you understand the idea that there’s nothing more you could have done. If you’ve given it your all and it still wasn’t enough, then divorce is definitely the most viable option. A highly reputable and regarded family attorney can help you through the process.

You Have Options During a Divorce

Oftentimes, people stay in unhealthy relationships because they think they have no choice. They worry about what will happen to their families and their finances if they leave.

While it’s understandable to be concerned about these things, it’s also important that you put your own happiness and wellbeing first for a change. There are options to explore when you want to separate from your spouse.

Lawyers who specialize in divorce can help you navigate your new path to a better life on your own. Even the most complicated situations, such as those involving monetary disputes and child custody arrangements, can be worked out with the help of family attorneys who dedicated their lives to supporting others during difficult times.

Even though the idea of divorce may seem very daunting and overwhelming to you, it’s a more attractive alternative than being unhappy and miserable for the rest of your life in a doomed marriage.

It Won’t Always Be This Way

Another thing you should remember when facing divorce is that you will make it through this speed bump. Your life won’t always be like this, and by moving forward and getting on with your life you’ll be opening up opportunities for more personal happiness and success.

While it may seem like the pain and sadness will never go away, it will as time passes.

Divorces can be amicable, hostile and everything in between. Knowing what you know about your partner, you can gauge how they may react and respond to divorce proceedings and prepare accordingly. If you’re worried, they will be very angry and aggressive, then it’s in your best interests to contact a divorce attorney sooner rather than later.

Legal guidance can make a huge difference in the divorce process, and you won’t regret having someone by your side with the appropriate knowledge and expertise to help with your situation. Regardless of what happens during your divorce, just hold steady to the idea that your future will be great. Moving on with your life can have such a positive impact on you and the people who care about you.

Your Future is Bright

It’s totally true that your post-divorce life is full of promise and potential. If it’s time for you to move on, think of this as an opportunity for you to focus on the things you are truly interested in.

Your family and friends will learn to adjust to your new normal, as will you. It will require patience and flexibility, but your life is far from over just because you’re getting a divorce. There’s hope on the horizon; you’ll be much happier and healthier once you kiss a soured relationship goodbye.

It will be good for your family members to see you taking care of yourself.

Hiring a Lawer For Your Divorce

If you are thinking about divorce, but don’t know what to do, we can help you. There are plenty of resources out there and many people who have been in your shoes. You’d be surprised how many people there are who can relate to your situation and give you guidance.

Plus, you can always contact divorce attorneys who would are happy to help get you moving forward. This is a call you won’t regret making. Good luck on your new journey!

divorce ligation vs divorce mediation in family law

Divorce Litigation vs Divorce Mediation: Which is Right for You?

40% to 50% of first marriages will end up in divorce. The figures are higher for subsequent marriages.

Irrespective of how you arrived at the decision to get divorced, this is a tumultuous time for most couples. It is even worse if children are involved.

Still, going through the divorce process is the only way to sever that relationship and get clarity on matters like the kid’s custody and asset division.

Divorce litigation and divorce mediation are the two ways that can get you there. However, which option is best for your situation?

Let’s look at what each entails and which one is best for you.

What Is Divorce Litigation?

A divorce goes through many steps and processes, with the steps varying from state to state and couple to couple.

Usually, each party hires its own lawyer to identify and negotiate issues about their divorce on their behalf.

These two lawyers become central to the divorce and enter negotiations regarding their client issues.

If the two cannot agree on one or two issues, the divorce is moved to a family court. Here, a court date is set, and each attorney will prepare their case alongside their client.

All documents regarding the case are presented, and the lawyers make their arguments in front of a judge. Witnesses and other external experts might be called to testify as well.

At times, the couple’s children take the stand too.
Ultimately, the sitting judge will make a judgment regarding child custody, time-sharing, alimony, child support and division of assets.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

A mediator is an independent, objective person who helps people resolve conflict amicably.

For people trying to end their marriage, the divorce itself is the conflict. Issues like kids, custody, and asset division are among the things they have to resolve.
A successful mediation helps them settle these issues out of court.

While a good mediator is an active participant in mediation talks, the spouses have a say in the decision making. It is important to note that mediators are not necessarily lawyers.

Mediator vs. Lawyer

This choice is dependent on the individual circumstances of your divorce case. Some will favor mediation, while others require divorce lawyers. Keep reading to find out which you should go for.

When to Use Mediation

This is a less confrontational approach to divorce and is best if you want to settle things quietly. Go for it in the following circumstances.

1. You Want to Protect Your Kids

Your kids stand over and above all the other circumstances surrounding the divorce. While divorce is tough on parents, it’s tougher on kids.

Any steps you take to protect your kids and maintain a semblance of united family unit-despite the divorce-are worth looking into.

Mediation allows you to negotiate as parents other than opposing teams. This is favorable for custody, co-parenting and timesharing.

When handled properly and level-headedly, a mediation ensures that the kids come first and that parents do not end up pitting the kids against each other.

2. You Want to Save Money

Litigation fees are higher that mediation fees. If the divorce drags out or has some complicated aspects to it, divorce attorney’s fees might go through the roof.

By opting for mediation, you can save a pretty penny on your divorce.

3. You Want a Peaceful Process

Divorces can get ugly. Custody and asset sharing are both emotive topics that can muddle the process even farther.

When parties engage in accusations and counter-accusations to get an edge over their partner, the process gets acrimonious pretty quickly.

By opting to have your divorce mediated, both parties agree to focus on the issues as opposed to mudslinging and getting an edge over each other.

It’s on this premise that divorce mediation is peacefully carried out.

4. You Want a Quick Process

Comparatively speaking, mediated divorces take much less time than divorce litigation.

The back and forth between attorneys make a litigated divorce drag out much longer. In mediation, all matters are brought up and are tabled for real-time discussion and resolution.

This settles issues much faster than attorneys going back and forth on each individual matter.

5. You Want Control over the Process

Mediation gives you and your husband full control to customize your agreement to your specific needs.

This control and empowerment yield a fair agreement to both of you. When no one walks away feeling cheated, the process of healing and co-parenting becomes significantly easier.

When is Divorce Litigation the Best Way Forward?

This process involves a judge and might take longer than mediation. Use it in the following circumstances.

1. You Fear For Your Safety

Your safety should be a primary concern. If the relationship is characterized by power imbalances where one party is unable to speak for themselves, then litigation is the only way out.

The same goes for when there is a restraining order in place. Or the marriage being dissolved is highly volatile and abusive.

Currently, 10 million women and men are in physically abusive relationships. In this case, litigation is best.

2. Asset Hiding

Mediation requires transparency and good faith.

If you have evidence that your spouse is hiding debts or assets, then mediation is not a good option. The same is true for when you suspect your spouse’s business dealings are not above board.

In such cases, a divorce lawyer can, through the courts, compel your spouse to make full disclosure and provide documentation to uncover the truth.

3. Your Spouse Is Incapacitated

Mediation provides a space for self-determination, where either party is encouraged to articulate their wishes and interest in the negotiations.

Your spouse might be unable to do this for themselves due to drug addiction or other factors that may lead to a diminished mental state.

In this case, opting for litigation allows a judge to make a determination on your divorce.


4. One Party Is Against Mediation

Unlike litigation, mediation is a voluntary process. Both of you must be willing to participate in the process for it to be successful.

If you are for mediation but your spouse is against it, litigation is the second best option.

Which Route Should You Take?

Sometimes a divorce that starts with mediation can end up in divorce litigation and vice versa. Ultimately, it takes two well-meaning parties to have an amicable dissolution of a marriage.

At Family Law Attorneys Near Me, we know that finding a good family lawyer amid your divorce can be yet another stressful task you should not have to deal with.

For this reason, we have listed over 2000+ top attorneys to help you find the best one in your locality. Click this link to get started.



[1] Marriage and Divorce. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/topics/divorce/
[2] Choosing an Effective Mediator. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.americanbar.org/groups/young_lawyers/publications/tyl/topics/litigation/choosing-effective-mediator/

domestic violence and divorce

What You Need to Know About How Domestic Violence Could Influence Your Divorce Case

Did you know that more than 10 million women and men are physically abused by an intimate partner annually? Divorces with domestic violence more common than you think.

It’s no wonder so many people eventually have to find a lawyer to help them in their situation.

Divorces are one of those things that can often turn very messy.

Keep reading to learn what you need to know about domestic violence and divorce.

What to Know About Domestic Violence and Divorce

Going through a divorce is a stressful and complicated process. When you add domestic violence and divorce to the mix it gets even more complicated. If you are a victim of domestic violence you should immediately find an experienced top family lawyer to determine the best legal actions to protect you and your family.

Federal and state statutes have been put in place to discourage and punish acts of domestic violence. In 1994 Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act. States have put in place Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act.

Get Help

Domestic violence is a situation that can happen to anyone. First, protect yourself to be safe from further harm. If you’re under domestic violence threat call the police or get out of the house.

At this point don’t worry about how this will impact your divorce get yourself in a safe environment. Once you are in a place where you don’t feel threatened consult with a divorce attorney about the legal consequences of moving out, separation, and getting protective restraining orders.

Restraining Orders

Every state has its own legal rights and options to protect themselves against their abuser. A knowledgable attorney will help the abused victim get a restraining or protective order to provide them with legal protection. Depending on the state a restraining order can force the court to order the abuser to vacate the home and stay somewhere else.

If the abuser were to violate this court order they will have serious consequences. This can include arrest and trouble un future child custody hearings.

Alimony and Domestic Violence

Depending on the state domestic violence can be a factor the court considers when determining alimony payments. Some states consider violence as instances of marital misconduct. This might cause the court to adjust an alimony award during a divorce.

Child Custody Rights and Domestic Violence

The first step before finalizing a divorce or even starting a divorce process seek an emergency protective domestic violence restraining order. Then ask the judge for temporary custody and only supervised visitation rights. You want to keep your child or children safe.

Once the child custody cased is opened the judge will review the case and make a decision. Some states will not grant sole or shared child custody to a parent that is found guilty of domestic violence.

In some states, the courts can consider abuse against any of the following related to the other parent not just abuse against the other parent:

  • Child’s grandparent
  • Roommate

Splitting up Assets During a Divorce with Domestic Violence

When it comes to divorce and splitting up assets domestic violence plays a major role. The following covers different ways that domestic violence affects assets.

Domestic Violence as Economic Misconduct

Some states don’t allow the courts to consider marital fault when it comes to domestic violence. Instead, they permit the consideration of economic fault. For domestic violence to be considered in the splitting of assets the court has to find evidence of the economic impact the abuse caused.

Evidence that is allowed to be presented in court to prove economic misconduct includes:

  • Loss of a job because of calling out due to injury
  • An illness that resulted from domestic violence
  • Victim having to move to avoid violence
  • Higher health care costs

Domestic Violence as a Casual Factor

In some states, domestic violence has an impact on splitting up assets. If the state considers fault to domestic violence to be a factor in divorce proceedings then it will have a significant impact on the outcome.

In some jurisdictions, domestic violence is specifically addressed and weighed in the process of property division and assets division. Some courts will assume the abuse was the causal factor in the divorce and marital breakdown.

Domestic Violence Limited to Egregious

Some states only view domestic violence as being relevant when splitting assets if the abuse was egregious. This means the abused will have to establish that the abuse was in fact egregious. It can have different connotations depending on the courts perspective this can vary.

Splitting assets during the divorce with domestic violence in a state that needs to see the abusive situation as extreme and shocking will need extra work on the abused side. This is why an experienced lawyer is always recommended.

Domestic Violence in the Exclusion of All Fault

This is when fault isn’t considered under any circumstance in the division of assets. This completely excludes domestic violence as a factor from the divorce.

These states adhere to the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act. This act requires the division of assets without regard to marital misconduct.

Call an Experienced Attorney

As the information above reinforced contact a knowledgeable attorney to make sure you’re going in the right direction. As mentioned earlier divorce isn’t an easy situation and if you are adding domestic violence to it there’s more emotional baggage and legal situations to deal with.

Please keep in mind if you have children and are going through a divorce and dealing with domestic violence make sure your children are out of harm’s way.

Looking for a lawyer to handle your domestic violence and divorce case? Find the perfect lawyer for you in our 6,000 plus listings.



[1] NCADV | National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ncadv.org/statistics

[2] A Guide to the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act, 1998-2008. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utlaw/00040/law-00040p119.html

domestic violence and divorce

Living Together While Divorcing: Should You Move Out?

While millennials get blamed for a lot, one thing they can’t be blamed for is a rise in the divorce rate. That’s because, between 2008 and 2016, the rate dropped by more than 18 percent.

Despite this, divorce is still occurring in an overwhelming number of marriages. And the overall divorce rate won’t matter much to you if your own marriage is coming to an end.

When a divorce is imminent, you’ll have a lot of decisions to make. One big one is where you’ll live during the divorce.

If you’re going through a rough spot, keep reading to learn questions you need to ask yourself before you decide whether living together while divorcing is an option for you.

Are You Safe in Your Home?

If you feel unsafe in your home, the answer to the question, “should I move out of the house before the divorce,” is simple; yes.

Maybe domestic abuse is the reason behind your divorce to begin with. Or your soon-to-be-ex has become violent now that he or she knows you’re leaving.

Whatever the case, if there is any chance that your situation may become physically or emotionally unsafe, it’s important to get out right away. Stay with friends or family if possible, as opposed to staying alone in a hotel, in case your ex does come looking for you.

If you need to stay in your home for any reason, you’ll need to figure out how to your spouse to move out during the divorce instead. This may require obtaining a restraining order against your spouse and getting a court order for him or her to leave the house so that you may remain.

If your spouse fights the restraining order and the order to leave your house, you need to decide whether or not you think it’s likely he or she will break the order. If you feel they might, it may still be safer for you to stay with friends and family rather than putting yourself or your children at risk by staying put.

Are Children Involved?

Divorce is always emotionally difficult. But when children are involved, things get much more complicated.

That isn’t to say you shouldn’t get divorced if you and your spouse have children.

In fact, research shows that most children will adjust to divorce within 2 years. But children of parents who constantly fight and don’t get a divorce experience more lasting emotional problems.

However, there are a few things you can do to help make the adjustment to a separated family less harmful to your children.

Deciding Who Stays with the Kids and Who Goes

Both you and your spouse remaining in the home together is one way to protect your children. But this is only a viable option if you and your spouse are on good terms.

The last thing you want to do is expose your children to endless arguments. If you know that you won’t be able to keep your fighting from occurring in front of your kids, it may be best for one spouse to move out.

The other option is to keep your children in your home and have you and your spouse trade off who stays there, on a set schedule.

If you know that you and your spouse will be co-parenting after the divorce is finalized, this may be a great way to start practicing while also protecting your children from some of the trauma of your divorce.

However, if you can’t trust your spouse or if one of you won’t be around enough to care for your children on your own, this may not be an option. In this case, it may be best for the primary caregiver to stay in the home with your kids while the other moves elsewhere.

Minimizing the Effect of Divorce on Your Kids

Another factor to consider is whether you will be fighting your spouse for custody. If you think you may need a child custody lawyer because your spouse thinks he or she deserves custody that you don’t feel they should have, this can make living together tense.

You don’t want your children to see you fighting with your spouse over who will be caring for them after the divorce.

While you don’t want your kids to see you arguing, that doesn’t mean you should keep everything from them. Being honest with your children about what is happening is important. Give them notice before any big changes occur, like one spouse moving out.

This will give your kids time to adjust to the changes, making them easier to handle.

Is Supporting Two Households Financially Possible?

If finances are tight, there may be no point in arguing about who has to move out in a divorce.

If you and your spouse can’t afford a second household and don’t have family or friends one of you can stay with, you’ll both need to remain in the house.

Unless you are on good terms, you may want to set boundaries on your living situation. This could include setting rules about having guests over, assigning separate spaces for each of you to use, and agreeing to split costs like food and household items.

If you have children together, deciding to keep any arguments to yourselves is a must.

If you know your divorce is likely to drag on, you might consider selling your home to give yourselves money to buy or rent two smaller properties that you could live in separately.

Living Together While Divorcing

Whether or not you and your spouse will be living together while divorcing is something you’ll need to decide for yourself. You’ll need to consider your personal situation, your children if you have them, and whether it’s financially responsible for one of you to move to a second home.

But there are other parts of your divorce that you shouldn’t handle on your own.

If you and/or your spouse have decided to end your marriage, it’s time to decide whether you want the help of a lawyer to navigate the process. Click here to learn 8 reasons why a divorce lawyer might be a good choice for you.