Norwalk divorce lawyers
Divorce can be an unpleasant and time-consuming process. Hiring the right attorney will go a long way in making the process smoother. To hire the proper attorney, you need to understand their qualities and qualifications.
What Characteristics Make a Good Divorce Attorney?
The first place to start is with their qualifications. You want to know what education your attorney has had and where they got their degrees from. Pay attention to the states they are licensed to practice law in.
A good attorney is of no value to you if they cannot practice law where you are having your divorce. Maybe you live in one state and your soon to be ex-spouse lives in another state. You want the attorney who takes your divorce case to be able to practice law in both states.
How committed is your attorney to furthering their education? A good way to tell is by looking at the societies, memberships, and associations they belong to. What do other lawyers, judges, and clients say about your prospective attorney’s experience and education? These are key factors that should influence your choice.
What Kind of Experience Do You Want Your Attorney to Have?
Besides their academic history, you want your attorney to have experience dealing with divorce cases like yours. Here is where you need to be selective. An attorney may have handled several divorce cases. However, if your divorce case includes child custody, property distribution, or high assets, but your attorney has never handled cases like these, they may not be the right choice for you.
If your divorce is relatively simple and there are not a lot of assets or custody issues involved, a less experienced attorney may be right for you. However, it is generally accepted that the wider an attorney’s experience, the easier divorce proceedings will be for the clients they represent.
A place where you will see your attorney’s experience and education in play is in how they go about building your case. Before hiring an attorney, ask them how they plan on building your case. Since your attorney, at this stage, does not have all the facts, they may not lay out a step-by-step process. However, you want them to give you a general idea of the steps they plan to take and an angle from which they will attack your case.
Your attorney may opt to settle the allocation of assets using negotiation and mediation first. Then, if this does not work, they may attack the issue through trial. From the outset, a competent attorney should be able to present you with a general idea of what their plan A and plan B would look like. What you are looking for in this stage is proof that the attorney you are considering has what it takes to build and manage your case.
A Good Divorce Attorney Is a Good Communicator
As mentioned at the outset, divorce can be a trying procedure. For this reason, a divorce attorney needs to communicate. During the case, your attorney is going to be your voice, communicating your concerns to other lawyers, judges, and the other parties involved.
You will want your divorce attorney to communicate freely and openly with you. They should explain complex facets of the law in a way that you understand. They should do this without speaking down to you and without being condescending.
Communication is a two-way street. Your attorney should listen to you when you express your concerns. They are the authority with legal issues. However, you hired them, so in certain matters your decisions are important, and your attorney should be willing to listen to these carefully.
Television glorifies attorneys who are aggressive and argumentative. While this has its place in litigation, it is your attorney’s ability to communicate with the other party and their lawyers that can often make the difference between settling the case out of court and going through the longer and often more expensive process of handling the case in court.
Your Attorney’s Composure Will Impact Your Results
Your attorney’s composure will reflect on you. You need an attorney who can stay calm and collected when they are going through an extreme crisis.
Divorce is an emotionally charged process. You need an attorney who can handle themselves maturely. Your attorney’s composure can help you maintain your composure when you feel you are being misrepresented or facts are being distorted during your case.
Before hiring an attorney, you want to iron out the details. How much do they charge for their services? When do they expect payment? How much will their retainer be? The last thing you want during the process is to be surprised.
Finding the right Norwalk divorce lawyers can be a challenge. But it is a challenge that you can meet. If you do your due diligence and research, you will be happy with the attorney you find.
What happens we don’t agree on a settlement?
During the divorce process, you have ample opportunity to work with the other side in order to try and reach a resolution of the case. You’ll likely have a settlement conference, and your attorneys have other opportunities to discuss the case and try to reach a resolution. In the vast majority of cases, the parties are able to reach a settlement that’s agreeable, and the case never proceeds to trial.
In a small minority of cases, however, you may not be able to agree on a settlement. There are a number of reasons that this might occur. You might disagree as to whether an asset qualifies as a marital asset. You might disagree as to how to arrange child custody or the specifics of parenting time. The parties might disagree about who gets to keep the marital home or another significant asset.
In any event, you might wonder what happens if you don’t agree on a settlement. In that event, it’s up to the judge to hear the case and make a decision. Unless and until you have your case settled, it’s important to prepare as though your case is going to trial. If you don’t settle your case, it goes to trial.
When your trial date arrives, you’ll head to the courtroom. A trial is a formal proceeding. Your attorney and the other party’s attorney have the chance to tell the judge the basic facts of the case and what they think the outcome should be. Then each side has the chance to call witnesses and present evidence.
For child custody, you need to present evidence that documents what the custody and parenting time arrangement should be and why. This might be your own testimony or the testimony of family and friends. You may have arranged for a psychologist to evaluate one or both parents and the children. Teachers may need to take the witness stand. Both your attorney and the other parent’s attorney will have the chance to ask questions. In addition to proving your side of the case, you’ll need to explain things to the judge like where you plan to live and the distance between the parents so that the court can fashion a practical agreement.
In the case of determining property, you need to present evidence to the court that each piece of property exists. It’s also up to you to prove the value of each item. In the case of any real property that you own, you may need to present an appraiser who can testify to the value of the home. You need to value bank accounts and large assets such as vehicles and boats.
A trial is an adversarial proceeding, but you’ll have your attorney to guide you through the process. If you take the witness stand, your attorney has a chance to ask you questions, and the other side can ask questions too. Even the judge can ask you questions if they need clarification on an issue.
After the trial ends, the judge makes their decision. They issue an order. That becomes your judgment of divorce. If you’re unhappy with the order, you have the opportunity to appeal. If neither party appeals, the case ends except for enforcing the divorce judgment. If you don’t agree on a settlement, you can work with your attorney in order to prepare for trial and present your case in the best possible light.