What Does a Divorce Lawyer Do?

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A divorce lawyer is a professional who zealously advocates for their clients’ legal interests. They ensure that a divorce settlement is fair and legal. This is important because once a divorce decree is signed, it’s a costly slog to change it.

Choosing the right attorney can save you time and money. It starts with an initial legal consultation that’s a bit like an audition.
Legal Advice

Divorce proceedings can become highly emotional, and a divorce lawyer serves as an objective third party to help individuals remain levelheaded and work toward a resolution that is best for them. They can provide advice on a range of issues, including property division, child custody, and alimony.

In most cases, attorneys for each spouse will present evidence and argue their case before a judge during the divorce trial. This is a very involved process and requires significant preparation.

Individuals with children and significant assets often require divorce lawyers to assist them through the legal process, but in some cases, couples who are able to agree on all major aspects of their divorce can go through mediation without the need for attorneys. Leon F. Bennett, a Calabasas divorce attorney, can guide clients through the divorce forms required in California and walk them through the process of filing them. He can also help individuals understand if they would benefit from working with a mediator instead of an attorney.
Mediation

Mediation is a way for people who have a dispute to resolve the matter without going to court. A divorce lawyer can help their client negotiate a settlement with the other party to a dispute. This may include matters such as property division, child custody, and spousal support.

Divorce mediation is often considered to be more prompt, less expensive, and simpler than formal litigation. It can also allow the parties to focus on their underlying issues rather than on questions of truth and fault.

Participants in a mediation should come prepared to discuss their concerns. They should have an idea of what they want their outcome to be, but they should also be flexible and open to new ideas for resolution that might arise in the course of the mediation. They should also be realistic about the prospects of achieving their goal and the costs involved in going to trial. It is important that participants be on time for the mediation.
Limited Scope Representation

In limited scope representation, a lawyer agrees to handle some parts of a client’s legal matter while the client handles other aspects. This is also known as unbundling, and it allows an attorney to help clients who otherwise cannot afford full representation or who do not qualify for free legal aid.

For example, in a divorce case, the attorney might agree to assist with filing financial forms and answering questions about property division. However, the client would be responsible for handling all court appearances and mediation proceedings.

To comply with Rule 4-1.2(c), an attorney who offers limited scope representation must have a written agreement with the client describing the essential terms of the representation. The agreement must also state that the client consented to the limited scope of representation. When the lawyer has finished providing limited scope representation, he or she files a Certificate of Completion of Limited Scope Representation with the court and serves copies to the client and any other parties in the case.
Representation in Court

Divorce can take a physical, emotional and financial toll on couples. A divorce lawyer can help alleviate some of that stress by representing you in court hearings regarding divorce terms such as property division, spousal and child support, custody / ownership of pets, and visitation time.

Divorce lawyers are charged to be zealous advocates for their clients. It is important that you make your honest goals and legal interests clear to your attorney from the beginning of your case.

If you and your spouse cannot reach a divorce agreement, your lawyer can work with you in mediation or collaborative divorce to settle the matter without going to court. Your lawyer can also review a settlement to ensure it is fair and legally sufficient. This is called limited scope representation and often costs less than hiring a divorce lawyer for full-scope representation. Legal aid offices and volunteer lawyers can provide limited scope representation to those who qualify.

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