3 Myths About Divorce Lawyers: Debunked!
If you are considering a divorce, you may be wondering about the process and what to expect. One of the biggest decisions you will make is who to hire as your divorce lawyer. You may have heard some myths about divorce lawyers that may have made you hesitant to hire one. In this blog post, we will debunk those myths and give you a better understanding of what to expect when working with a divorce lawyer.
Myth #1: Divorce lawyers are too expensive.
This is a common myth about divorce lawyers, but it is not necessarily true. While some divorce lawyers may charge high hourly rates, there are also many divorce lawyers who offer affordable rates. However, before you stop your analysis there, it’s important to understand that an attorney who charges a high hourly rate may be able to accomplish the job in less time than a younger or less experienced attorney who charges a lower hourly rate. Most divorce lawyers charge by the hours, so while their hourly rate may be an important part of your affordability equation, you should also consider the amount of time it will take them to achieve the goals you desire for your case.
It’s also critical to take into account the value of your marital estate at risk during a divorce. If you have a marital estate or a business valued at more than one million dollars, hiring an attorney with lots of experience in knowing how best to protect your wealth will likely justify the investment of his high hourly rate. On the other hand, if your marital estate doesn’t include high-value real estate or other assets that might justify senior-partner-level attention, you may want to consider a more budget-friendly attorney to handle your case. You should always do your research and find a divorce lawyer who not only fits your budget but also has the experience necessary to protect your assets for your future.
Myth #2: Divorce lawyers are too aggressive.
This is another all-too-common myth about divorce lawyers that I believe Hollywood has had fun perpetuating in movies like Intolerable Cruelty. While some divorce lawyers may be very aggressive, not all are – and when that is the case, it’s not always a bad thing. Divorce is a naturally contentious process from the start. Hiring an aggressive attorney who can establish certain tones early on may be a good thing. For example, if your attorney has a reputation for being aggressive, your spouse’s attorney may be less likely to try to “pull a fast one” or play games with the facts while trying to gain an advantage for their client.
However, if you and your spouse agree about most things involving your divorce and you desire to keep things friendly, you should carefully research whether your attorney has the ability to work well and work efficiently with other attorneys before you decide to hire them. Hiring an attorney who is so aggressive that all they want to do is fight will not be a good match for a couple looking for an amicable divorce. You should talk to friends or family members in your community who have been through a divorce to see if they have any recommendations for divorce attorneys who are known to be aggressive, when necessary, but reasonable and cooperative when that’s in their client’s best interest.
Myth #3: Divorce attorneys are a luxury… I can represent myself in family court.
This is a myth that can lead to serious consequences if you choose to represent yourself in court without the guidance of an experienced divorce lawyer. While you may be allowed to represent yourself in court, it is not recommended. The family court system is complicated, and divorce lawyers have years of experience navigating it.
If you choose to represent yourself, you will likely have to spend a significant amount of time researching the rules of court, rules of evidence, case law, and the courtroom procedures for your jurisdiction, which takes away from the time you could be spending working to earn a living or taking care of your children.
In addition, divorce lawyers are trained to deal with the emotions that often accompany divorce and can help keep things as amicable as possible. If you choose to represent yourself, you will be attempting to think clearly and objectively while also managing a wide range of emotions from anger to grief to confusion as you deal with the dissolution of your marriage.
If you are considering representing yourself in court, we urge you to reconsider and at least consult with an experienced divorce attorney to get an idea of what you’re up against so that you can make a more educated decision about whether you’re able to handle it alone.
Although it is understandable to want to avoid the hassle and expense of hiring a divorce lawyer, it is important to remember that seeking legal counsel is an important step in protecting your rights. A qualified divorce lawyer can help you understand your options and work through the process as efficiently as possible. If you are considering a divorce, please consider contacting our office for a consultation. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about the process.
If you and your spouse are considering divorce as a next step in your relationship, it’s important to know how your state’s laws will affect the process and your future. If you’re in South Carolina, it’s important to contact an experienced family court attorney like Ben Stevens today to discuss your divorce options. Even if you aren’t in South Carolina, Mr. Stevens is happy to offer referrals to a well-qualified attorney located in your state.
Mr. Stevens is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and he is a Board-Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. If you or someone you know is facing a divorce, separation, child custody, visitation, or other family law case, contact our office at (864) 598-9172 or SCFamilyLaw@offitkurman.com to schedule a consultation.
Contact our office at (864) 598-9172 or SCFamilyLaw@offitkurman.com to schedule an initial consultation.
ABOUT J. BENJAMIN STEVENS
Ben.Stevens@offitkurman.com | 864.598.9172
Aggressive, creative, and compassionate are words Ben Stevens' colleagues freely use to describe him as a divorce and family law attorney. Mr. Stevens is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and is a Board Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is one of only two attorneys in South Carolina with those simultaneous distinctions. He has held numerous leadership positions in the AAML, and he currently serves as one of its National Vice Presidents. Mr. Stevens has a statewide practice and regularly appears all across South Carolina. His practice is focused on complex divorce and child custody cases.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman, one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the United States, serves dynamic businesses, individuals and families. With 17 offices and nearly 250 lawyers who counsel clients across more than 30 areas of practice, Offit Kurman helps maximize and protect business value and personal wealth by providing innovative and entrepreneurial counsel that focuses on clients’ business objectives, interests and goals. The firm is distinguished by the quality, breadth and global reach of its legal services and a unique operational structure that encourages a culture of collaboration. For more information, visit www.offitkurman.com.
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