Divorce lawyers are legal professionals that specialize in issues concerning legal separation, such as divorce, annulment and dissolution. Most of them are family law experts that focus on different issues associated with family and marriage, such as adoptions and wills. Couples who are going through the legal separation process are advised to maintain a lawyer that is highly knowledgeable with this procedure to protect their legal rights and possibly arrive at an amicable settlement.
People who aspire to become divorce lawyers should go to law school and take subjects on family law during the course of their studies. Furthermore, they should meet the criteria to practice law by passing the bar examination. Usually, bar exams consist of a written test and character assessment to make sure that the candidates are morally suitable to practice law. Once they are eligible, lawyers can look for a job in a practice handling family law matters so they can earn the experience they need in this field of study.
The primary duty of a divorce lawyer is to process the divorce papers after being hired by any of the parties involved in the divorce. There are some cases when a couple agrees to get a divorce and, in this situation, they may approach a particular lawyer jointly to request for legal advice and assistance. However, in a contentious divorce, the lawyer is consulted by only one party. After the party requesting for the divorce writes and signs the petition, this can now be served to the other spouse.
One of the main aspects of this area of expertise is the arbitration of a settlement, if a couple makes a decision to dissolve their marriage. The settlement will include the settlement of alimony, the division of assets, the discussions on child custody and child support. Divorce lawyers may also implement a prenuptial agreement or can participate in other divorce stipulations. For example, if a couple stored fertilized embryos as a result of an infertility treatment, the divorce lawyer of each party should be involved in any decision concerning these embryos.
When it comes to a contentious divorce, divorce lawyers may represent their clients in court and especially in specialized family courts that handle family-related concerns, such as child custody and adoption. They can also deal with other issues, like prenuptial agreement and post-divorce inquiries. Several couples believe that a firm prenuptial agreement leads to an easier and less expensive divorce process. Any good divorce lawyer can prepare a prenuptial agreement to protect all the assets of his/her client before her marriage. Moreover, their lawyer may be summoned to respond to post-divorce inquiries. As an example, a client may ask how to amend a divorce decree, when will she be allowed to change her name and how to change the payments for alimony or child support.