With Justice for ALL (quote from the pledge of allegience U.S.A.)
This is an informational website offering support not legal advise
Is an Attorney Necessary?
No, but it's always best to be fully aware of all your legal rights. You may feel willing to give up your rights to property or pay more support in order to get out of your marriage as quickly as possible, but it's still advisable to have at least one consultation with a lawyer. When your emotions settle later, you may regret not having done so, especially if you didn't end up with your fair share. If you have children or a significant amount of property to divide, then you likely will need a lawyer.
If your spouse moves out of the house and pays none of the bills, you could accuse them of abandonment. They could lose their share of the house, and might also lose their right to custody of the children.
You and your spouse should always have separate lawyers since one lawyer cannot fairly represent the interests of both of you.
What should someone look for in a divorce lawyer? Depending on the complexity of your case, you may not need a specialist in matrimonial law, although you may want one. Most general practitioners have enough knowledge of matrimonial law to handle a relatively simple case, or even a fairly difficult one, but you should make sure they've had some previous experience handling a divorce. In the case of someone contending that the divorce case is wrong a lawyer versed in Constitutional law may be of great help. Attorney David Moody of Lubbock Texas, US is one of the best. (See his information on main menu, click recommended attorney)
The most important thing that you need to look for in your attorney is someone you can trust and someone who you respect. It is imperative that they share your values or you will be at a disadvantage immediately. Your lawyer will be privy to the most intimate personal and financial details of your married life. He or she will also be advising you as to what results to expect and how to proceed. You must trust his or her judgment and you must respect his or her knowledge and ability if the relationship is to work.
You should also bear in mind that a divorce lawyer is not a marriage counselor or a psychologist, and your emotional problems should be handled by an appropriate professional.
How do lawyer's fees work in a divorce? You will generally be charged at an hourly rate, although some attorneys do have flat fees for simple divorces where there is no property distribution. The hourly rate of an individual attorney, as well as the overall cost of a divorce, will vary due to the location of the case and the experience of the practitioner. In general, a family law "specialist" will charge more than a general practitioner, and an experienced attorney will charge more than a newer attorney.
Some courts will require a spouse with the greater means to pay at least part of the counsel fees of the other spouse, but you should not count on that happening. Most attorneys will require a specified sum up front as a minimum retainer to start the action, or begin negotiations on your behalf.
The attorney's hourly rate will typically be charged against the retainer. Once the hours worked on your case exceed the retainer, you will be required to pay the balance when billed. Unlike other types of cases, most states do not allow lawyers to use a contingency-fee arrangement in a divorce.
You can represent yourself which is called pro se. There are provisions made for this contingency in most counties court houses.