The end of a relationship is tough going emotionally. A client came to see me…
The 9 Secrets Your Divorce Attorney Won’t Tell You
By Tariq Gardezi
When you’re going through a divorce, especially a contested or messy divorce, you’re going to find solace in hiring a divorce attorney.
Divorces can be unpredictable. They say passion runs both ways, which people often find when the person they once loved seemingly becomes their worst enemy.
Spouses involved in an ugly divorce often make threats to one another, some legal, some unfounded. Regardless, the only way to truly protect yourself is to hire a divorce attorney who knows the ins and outs of the divorce laws in your state.
But is it possible your divorce attorney won’t tell you everything?
The Top Secrets Your Divorce Attorney Won’t Tell You
There are things people won’t tell you in life. Sometimes, it’s to spare your feelings, sometimes, it’s to spare their own. Other times, people neglect to tell you the whole truth because it benefits them to keep you in the dark.
While many divorce attorneys are completely upfront and honest with their clients, there are a few things some may choose not to tell you. These things can save you money or time in the long run. They may also be harsh truths you don’t necessarily want to hear, but need to.
The Costs of Divorce Add Up Quickly
First, there are several costs of a divorce that aren’t immediately apparent. Unfortunately, this is often a desperate time in people’s lives when they are less concerned with money than they are with getting out of their current situation.
However, the initial estimate may end up being much lower than the actual costs of the divorce. This is especially true if you or your spouse are making the process more difficult or the divorce is complicated.
The Legal Process of Getting Divorced Can Take a While
Moreover, a divorce attorney may feel inclined to tell you the truth about how long the divorce will actually take. Most people think they’ll file for divorce and after a few weeks, everything will be settled. The truth is, the average divorce takes 11 months to complete.
Kids Play a Major Factor Before, During, and After a Divorce
No matter what your situation is with your spouse, children will significantly complicate any divorce – contested or uncontested, fault or no-fault.
In some cases, parents battle over custodial rights of their children. This can be for total custody or because of disagreements about parenting plans. This can lengthen out the divorce process and be a major source of contention and frustration.
However, this doesn’t necessarily end after a divorce has been finalized. Parenting agreements can be argued, appealed, and changed until your children turn 18. It’s not uncommon for ex-spouses to refute the original agreement and seek out alternative options.
You May Be Asked to Change a Few Aspects of Your Life
One thing your divorce attorney may not tell you is that you may have to change some aspects of your life. These won’t be permanent changes, necessarily, but your lawyer may feel you’ll come off better in court by changing your appearance or looking for a better place of employment.
For example, men may be asked to trim their beards and rent a suit, while women may be asked to wear less revealing clothing, use less extravagant makeup, or change their hairstyle. Both men and women are often advised to cover up tattoos.
An Uncontested Divorce Doesn’t Necessarily Require an Attorney
In an uncontested divorce where both parties are amicable and civil with each other, a divorce attorney may not be entirely necessary. However, a knowledgeable divorce attorney may choose not to tell you this due to their experience with divorced couples.
A lot of parenting agreements are contested after the divorce is finalized. Even if things are amicable during the divorce, things can change at any time after the case is closed.
If You’re At Fault in a Fault-Based Divorce, Don’t Expect a Good Outcome
If you’re involved in a fault-based divorce, the case may go very differently than a no-fault divorce. A fault-based divorce happens when a couple divorces due to the acts of a spouse. This includes things like adultery, cruelty, desertion, or being convicted of a felony.
If you’re at fault in this scenario, accept responsibility for your actions, as well as the repercussions. You need to prepare yourself that the divorce isn’t going to go your way.
Spousal Cooperation Results in Time and Cost Efficiency
As much as you may want to fight tooth and nail with your spouse on every aspect of the divorce, the more you two get along, the faster it will be. It will also be less expensive.
We’re not suggesting you need to roll over on everything or give up any unnecessary rights. However, if you can find a way to become amicable with your spouse, it will be a much less stressful experience.
The Judge is Only Interested in the Facts
When you go to court to present your divorce case to the judge, you need to remember why you’re there. You’re there to get a legal divorce and tell the judge the facts only. While your feelings and your story are important, the judge will dismiss any non-evidence-based details.
The Law Isn’t Always Fair or Even Understandable
Another important fact your divorce attorney may hesitate to share with you is that the law doesn’t always make sense. Sometimes, the way things work out won’t seem fair. Unfortunately, whether you believe the outcome of the case is fair or not will not change that you are legally bound to obey it.
You may think you’re paying too much child support or alimony or aren’t being allowed to see your kids enough. You can appeal the decision in the future, but you must accept the current ruling.
Looking for More Advice?
If you’re going through a divorce or are about to file for one, make sure you find the best divorce attorney for your needs. Find one who will be honest and upfront with you, even if you don’t like what they have to say.
And for more advice or thoughts on love and life, be sure to check out the rest of our articles before you go.