If you’re going through a divorce, whether it’s messy and complicated or easy and straightforward, you need legal representation you feel comfortable with.
Men are often treated differently than women by the courts when it comes to divorce proceedings. Perhaps it’s based on dated beliefs. In the past, women were less prominent in the professional workplace, which meant they could stay at home with the child while the father worked and supplied monetary payments each month to support the mother and child. But that paradigm has shifted.
Now, men and women work nearly equally. But men still have a hard time getting custody because the mother is seen as being more capable, even though she may work just as much as you (or maybe even more).
So how do you fight for your rights? By finding a divorce attorney you can trust. Still, that’s not easy; as with any other industry, there are sharks in the water that only want to make a buck without regard for your life experience.
Below, we’ll discuss what to look for as you search for a trustworthy divorce attorney.
More Than Courtroom Experience
While it’s always important that your attorney has plenty of experience with hearings, in mediations and in court, it’s also important that they have intimate experience in something else: marriage.
Any experienced lawyer could recite laws and precedents and get your divorce settled quickly, but only a lawyer who actually understands what you’re going through knows how to fight for the things that you care about: child custody, visitation and alimony, and even splitting assets between you and your spouse.
When you have compassionate representation instead of someone who just wants to get proceedings over quickly, you’ll ensure that your rights—and your lifestyle—are protected.
Keeping Your Kids Safe
Along the same lines, you need an attorney you can trust the welfare of your children with. Divorce can often be hardest on your kids, especially if you no longer get along with your spouse.
Whether you want to fight for custody of your children or you just want to make sure that you’re getting a fair amount of visitation and paying a fair amount of alimony, your attorney has to understand what that means. It’s not always about the money—it’s about the fact that you want to remain an important figure in your child’s life, even if he or she is nearly an adult.
An attorney who doesn’t understand where you’re coming from will never be able to represent your true wishes.
Holding on to Your Assets
Trust is also important from a financial standpoint when you’re negotiating a divorce. If your spouse is seeking to take all or part of your wealth and property, your attorney is your final defense against losing everything.
Obviously, when you give your divorce attorney the power to negotiate on your behalf, you put a lot of trust in his abilities. Before you sign on the dotted line, discuss your goals and let him detail the strategies he will use to accomplish those goals.
A Level Playing Field
Most important of all, your lawyer needs to know divorce law inside and out. Without thorough knowledge, you’ll never get any of the things discussed above. You have to trust in your divorce attorney to be able to raise your standing in the court so much that you’ll be seen as an equal entity to your spouse.
Remember how the courts have traditionally skewed decisions in favor of the mother in a divorce case? If you’re fighting an uphill battle, you’ll never win. But if your attorney can level the playing field and give you a fair fight for your kids, property, and lifestyle, you’ll come out a winner no matter what.