Ending your marriage may be one of the most difficult things you ever have to do, but you can make the divorce process much easier by choosing the right Springfield, MO divorce attorney to represent you. Even if you and your spouse are on civil and agreeable terms, and you have reached the decision to divorce mutually, you must still look out for your best interests in divorce proceedings.
While many people believe they can manage their legal affairs in the divorce process on their own and save money on legal fees, the reality is that this is a major mistake that can potentially cost you significant amounts of time, money, and stress.
If you plan to end your marriage in Springfield, MO, call our firm. It’s vital to seek legal counsel from a reputable and experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible. Most people heading for divorce are anxious to get on with their lives, and the sooner you secure legal counsel, the faster your divorce will progress overall.
Risks of Not Hiring an Attorney
Every divorce case is unique, and there is no “one size fits all” approach to any given divorce. While you may believe that you have a solid grasp of the legal issues that are likely to arise in your case, the reality of the situation is that a person with no formal legal training or professional legal experience will likely overlook many factors that cost them dearly in the long run. Even if you believe your spouse is agreeable enough that the two of you can reach a mutually acceptable conclusion to your divorce, without an attorney, you can never be sure if your agreement is balanced, reasonable, and in alignment with your best interests.
Many people who forego legal representation in divorce proceedings do so to save money. Legal fees are notoriously expensive, so many people believe that representing themselves is a good method for saving money on their divorce costs. The truth is that not hiring an attorney can cost you much more than your legal fees would have in the long run.
How to Find Potential Divorce Lawyers
While time is a critical factor in any legal case, you should not rush your decision to hire an attorney. It is essential to take time to narrow down your options to a few local Springfield, MO divorce lawyers and then interview each attorney to determine which is the best fit for you. Ask friends and family for their recommendations if any of them have recently divorced. You should also take time to look up reviews of local attorneys and compare testimonials. Reviews from past clients are some of the best resources for narrowing down your list of potential attorneys to those who can promise the best results.
Most divorce attorneys offer consultations to prospective clients. A consultation is an opportunity for the attorney to learn the basics of your case and to ensure there would be no conflicts of interest in representing you. For you, the consultation is an opportunity to ask questions about your legal situation and to get an idea of how the attorney would handle your case.
Essential Consultation Questions
Consider a few examples of the crucial questions you should ask a Springfield, MO divorce attorney during a consultation before agreeing to their legal services:
- “How much will your legal services cost?” Find out how the attorney bills their time and what level of transparency you can expect from working with them.
- “How long do you anticipate my divorce case to last?” The longer your case takes to reach a conclusion, the more expensive your legal fees will be.
- “What approach will you take in representing my interests?” See if the attorney intends to pursue mediation on your behalf.
- “Is there any way you see to expedite my divorce case?” A good attorney will be able to quickly assess whether your situation qualifies for a more streamlined divorce process.
- “What challenges or opportunities do you notice about my situation?” The attorney should be able to point out any potential legal obstacles you might face or any specific details that offer you a legal advantage in divorce proceedings.
- “What outcome do you anticipate in my divorce decree?” A good attorney will be honest and clear about their interpretation of a prospective client’s case.
- “How can I get in touch with you about my case?” Make sure the attorney is accessible and responsive. They should provide you multiple methods of contacting them about case updates, including phone, text, email, and instant messaging.
These example questions should help you start a list of your own questions to take to your consultations. Be sure to come up with several questions that are more specific to your unique circumstances. The more information you provide the attorney, the more precise their interpretations of your legal options will be.
What to Expect From a Springfield, MO Divorce Lawyer
Once you have narrowed down your options to the best lawyer you can find, you should know what to expect from the actual divorce process after hiring your attorney. First, it’s important to remember that most modern divorce attorneys will strongly encourage their clients to consider divorce mediation. Even if you cannot fathom having a reasonable, civil negotiation with your spouse, you should still try to take advantage of divorce mediation to the fullest extent possible.
Regardless of whether you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse decide to mediate, financial disclosure is another critical part of your divorce experience. Both of you will need to provide complete and accurate financial documentation so the court can be certain that your property division, alimony, and child support (if applicable) proceedings are as fair and reasonable as possible. Your attorney can help you gather the documentation you will need, and they can also provide additional support in the form of expert witness testimony on your behalf.
The right Springfield, MO divorce lawyer can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your divorce case. If you are concerned about your impending divorce and are unsure of what to expect as the situation unfolds, the sooner you contact an experienced Springfield, MO divorce attorney, the sooner you can approach your divorce with more confidence and peace of mind.