Divorce attorneys are legal professionals who specialize in issues related to legal separation, such as divorce, annulment, and dissolution. Most of them are family law experts who focus on different topics associated with family and marriage, such as adoptions and wills. Couples going through the legal separation process are advised to retain an attorney who is knowledgeable about this procedure to protect their legal rights and possibly reach an amicable settlement.
People who aspire to become divorce lawyers must go to law school and take family law courses during the course of their studies. Additionally, they must meet the criteria for practicing law by passing the bar exam. Typically, the bar exams consist of a written test and a character assessment to make sure candidates are morally fit to practice law. Once eligible, attorneys can look for a job in a practice that handles family law matters so they can get the experience they need in this field of study.
The primary duty of a divorce attorney is to process the divorce papers after they have been hired by any of the parties involved in the divorce. There are some cases where a couple agree to divorce and in this situation they may approach a particular attorney together for legal advice and assistance. However, in a contentious divorce, only one of the parties consults the lawyer. After the party requesting the divorce writes and signs the petition, it can now be served on the other spouse.
One of the main aspects of this area of expertise is settlement arbitration, if a couple makes the decision to dissolve their marriage. The agreement will include alimony payment, asset division, child custody discussions and child support. Divorce attorneys can also implement a prenuptial agreement or can participate in other divorce stipulations. For example, if a couple stored fertilized embryos as a result of infertility treatment, each party’s divorce attorney must be involved in any decision regarding these embryos.
When it comes to a contentious divorce, divorce attorneys can represent their clients in court and especially in specialized family courts that deal with family-related concerns such as child custody and adoption. They can also handle other matters, such as prenuptial agreements and post-divorce consultations. Many couples believe that a firm prenuptial agreement leads to an easier and less expensive divorce process. Any good divorce attorney can prepare a prenuptial agreement to protect all of his client’s assets prior to their marriage. Additionally, your attorney may be summoned to answer post-divorce inquiries. For example, a client may ask how to amend a divorce decree, when will he be allowed to change his name, and how to change alimony or child support payments.