Top 7 Divorce Tips

The No. 7 top Divorce Tip: Every person seeking an attorney should at interview at least two (2) lawyers and a thorough review of their retainer agreement should be undertaken.  Carefully review and consider hourly rates, minimum billings, and other provisions that the lawyer has drafted and seeks your approval.  All retainer agreements must include a “Statement of Client’s Rights and Responsibilities” by law.  This statement is somewhat like a client’s Bill of Rights when dealing with their divorce attorney.
 
The No. 6 top Divorce Tip: Never ask for specific court action, until you have provided all the facts to your lawyer.  Allow your lawyer provide the advice that suits the situation before you.  By simply walking in and demanding that you obtain an Order of Protection could affect your case negatively; the lawyer may take a course of action that may not be necessary, and all at your expense.  Tell your lawyer everything, and allow the attorney to do the thinking as to the best course of action for your case.
 
The No. 5 top Divorce Tip: What most spouses do not realize is that their lawyer and the lawyer for their spouse, despite all their arguing and courtroom animosity for each other, are colleagues behind closed doors.   Many legal scholars and members of the Judiciary believe that this is the greatest proof of our civility in our age.  You shouldn’t feel that your attorney and your spouse’s attorney should be sworn enemies.  
 
The No. 4 top Divorce Tip: Unless you earn millions per year, most spouses cannot afford a “blood bath” divorce.  Most spouses do not realize that your attorney can withdraw from your case at any time, and for a host of reasons:  one of the reasons may very well be for not being paid.  Be mindful that your attorney does not have to stay in the case.   
 
The No. 3 top Divorce Tip: Hourly rates and retainer amounts are arbitrarily set by lawyers and vary.  This is why it is important to meet with several lawyers prior to hiring one.   One of the biggest misconceptions in divorce is that the hourly rate charged by a lawyer is a reflection of their abilities.  This is complete bunk and lawyers are not allowed to even make such a statement.  Trust your “gut” when selecting a lawyer, and pay no attention to the hourly rates a lawyer charges.
 
The No. 2 top Divorce Tip:  There is no law that requires you have an attorney, and in fact, you do have the legal right to represent yourself.  Many spouses feel that having a lawyer is necessary, and that thought is simply, not true.  A spouse may elect to represent themselves and more and more, spouses are doing just that.  If you select to represent yourself, however, please note that the Court will hold you to the standard of a lawyer – so you need to educate yourself adequately to represent yourself.
 

And the No. 1 Divorce Tip:  Unless your case is uncontested (meaning you and your spouse have already agreed on everything), the average case will cost each spouse approximately $10,000, sometimes more with complicated family issues, and sometimes less.  With this staggering dollar amount, most spouses should either start saving for their case, or have the means to obtain financial help from friend and family.

 

If you have questions about these topics, contact

Paul D. Nordini at (630) 306-6300

or email him at:  paul.nordini@divorceinfosite.com