Divorce lawyers are legal professionals who focus on issues that pertain to divorce, such as annulment or dissolution. Most divorce lawyers are practitioners of family law, and they also take cases concerning wills, adoptions and other family issues. A couple in process of separating legally should get legally represented by divorce lawyers in order to protect their rights and ensure an amicable settlement.
To become a divorce lawyer, an attorney must first go to law school, focusing on family law topics. Then, they must pass the bar exam in order to become licensed to practice; most bar exams include a character assessment in addition to the written exam. Once they've passed the bar exam, the lawyer can get some practical experience in divorce law. The main responsibility of a divorce lawyer is the drawing up of divorce papers when they are requested. In some cases, the divorce is mutually agreed upon, and the couple will both ask the lawyer for help. However, in more contentious divorce cases, the lawyer will be hired by just one of the parties. The petition for divorce can be served to the other party only after it has been drafted and signed by the petitioner.
Another chief responsibility of a divorce lawyer is to help a divorcing couple come to a settlement when their marriage ends. Settlements can include the division of assets, as well as issues such as child support and alimony. Divorce lawyers also enforce prenuptial agreements. For instance, if a couple has frozen embryos for fertility treatments, the lawyers would help decide what happens to them.
Sometimes, divorce lawyers handle issues other than divorce. They can also represent their clients in matters of legal separation or annulment. Annulment is different than a divorce, as it legally makes it as if the marriage never occurred. In annulment cases, divorce lawyers claim that the marriage was invalid and therefore never happened. They can also help to establish a legal separation, where the couple remains technically married but they live apart.
In contentious divorce cases, the divorce lawyer will likely represent their client in court. The divorce lawyer may also help a client draft a prenuptial agreement before a marriage occurs, ensuring that their interests are protected in the event that the marriage does not work out. Prenuptial agreements ensure an amicable settlement in the event of divorce.
Selecting a good divorce attorney is quite frequently a matter of finding a lawyer that is skilled in the family law practice. In bigger cities and towns, this might be easier because city attorneys tend to be more specialized than their counterparts in more rural areas. No matter where you live, choosing a divorce lawyer is often as simple as scheduling a few consultations. There is a lot at stake in a divorce case, so the choosing of an attorney is something that should be done carefully.