I understand that financial concerns often limit a person’s ability and/or desire to retain an attorney. However, I strongly advise you to retain an attorney if you are financially able. Think of all the things that are potentially at stake in a contested or uncontested divorce your right to keep and access your home, your right to have custody of your children, your right to keep existing financial assets, your right to retain future earnings, etc. Now think of some of the far more frivolous things that you have spent money on….
I often make the comparison of someone needing legal services to a person who needs medical services. An attempt to treat a serious injury with a “home remedy” can actually create further complications. The same is true for legal services. Family law issues involve complex interactions of law and fact – and the law changes frequently. You would be far better served (and less likely to encounter future problems) if your legal issues were initially handled by a competent professional.
Make your future financial and emotional security a priority. To paraphrase a long-running local ad … if you don’t hire me, please hire someone else.
Most attorneys charge an hourly rate; so the ultimate cost of your divorce will primarily be a function of how much time and expense is incurred on your specific case. In even a simple divorce – one in which the parties generally agree to the terms from the beginning – after the attorney has consulted with you, answered your questions, drafted, filed and served the necessary documents, and scheduled a final hearing, it is unlikely that the cost would be much less than $1,500. If your divorce is contested, or there are any complex issues or points of contention, your divorce can cost considerably more. However, trying to handle a divorce on your own often has financial repercussions that far exceed the cost of hiring an attorney.
For an irreconcilable differences divorce your lawsuit must have been filed for at least 60 days for couples with no children, and at least 90 days for couples with children. In reality, divorces often take longer. Negotiating, mediating or litigating any contested issues can take months, so you should not enter a divorce action with the expectation that it will be a “quick fix”. It is more important that it be done right than done quickly because a proper resolution of your case can help ensure that you do not have to spend more time, money and energy in the future.
No. You need a competent attorney. I suspect that there was a time when such superficial posturing might have had an influence, but not today. In Middle Tennessee, we are blessed with many sophisticated family court judges. I assure you, they are solely concerned with the law and facts that are relevant to your case – not with the gender of your attorney. Fortunately, there are many excellent male and female attorneys that practice family law.
Yes, but…. The most important thing is that you not simply ignore the divorce action. While you can actively work to save your marriage, it is still important that you take certain precautions to protect your legal rights (and those of your children). I will be happy to proceed with your representation in a positive manner so as to avoid unnecessary animosity and help facilitate reconciliation, but will also encourage you to consider your long term interests in the event the divorce is unavoidable. In the end, I don’t “sell” divorces. If you are able to reconcile, I will happily return any remaining retainer.
Don’t even finish the sentence – the answer is no. The results of your case are dependent on many different variables over which I have little or no control. While I can influence how your case is prepared and presented, ultimately I cannot control the facts of your case, how you and other witnesses will testify, or the discretion of the Court. Any attorney that guarantees you a certain result is acting unethically and irresponsibly. While it may be comforting to hear a guarantee, you should focus on finding an attorney that is willing to be honest with you (even when it hurts).
If you have any questions regarding any of these issues, please feel free to call me at the number listed above, send an email, or use the contact form.
The Mason Family Law Firm represents clients throughout Middle Tennessee, including Davidson County, Williamson County, Dickson County, Cheatham County, Rutherford County, Maury County, Wilson County, Sumner County, and the cities of Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Lebanon, Gallatin, Goodlettsville, Hendersonville, Mount Juliet, Smyrna, Spring Hill, Ashland City, Kingston Springs, and others at clients’ request.