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Oakland County divorce attorneyDivorce can be a difficult process, but it can be even more difficult when you don’t have a qualified divorce lawyer. An unqualified divorce lawyer can not only make the process more stressful for you but will cost you assets and child custody in the long run. There are many ways to be certain that you are hiring an experienced divorce lawyer.  One of the most important ways to do this is by doing your own research. Every case is different, and every lawyer is different. Below find some important tips to keep in mind when you are choosing a divorce lawyer so you can be sure that your case will be treated properly.

Important Questions to Consider

Before taking your first meeting with a divorce lawyer, it is important to be prepared. Your situation is sensitive, and you will want the best person to represent you. Here is a set of questions that should be considered by the client and attorney at the outset of any divorce:

  • What is unique to your case? 
  • What does your lawyer need to know for your case?
  • What is the process for handling a case like yours?
  • Has the lawyer handled cases like yours?
  • Does this firm practice family law?
  • How does the firm handle billing?
  • How long will your case last?
  • Which lawyer in a firm be handling your case?

Next Steps

Now that you’ve asked all your questions, it is time to move on to the next step of hiring a lawyer. Remember each time you talk to a divorce lawyer, it is an interview for them to represent you. Once you feel comfortable finding a lawyer who answered the questions to your liking, it is your next move to hire them and meet in person. Record them on your phone (with permission) or take notes so you can remember everything your lawyer tells you. As he or she guides you through the process, you want to be as prepared as possible that you don’t forget any information or assignments your divorce lawyer tells you. By understanding what is expected of you, you can minimize attorney’s fees.

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Posted on in Divorce

Oakland County collaborative divorce attorneyWhen you think about a divorce, you probably think of long, drawn out processes, yelling matches in the courtroom and ultimately being unhappy with the outcome. While Hollywood does a good job of painting a dramatic and intriguing picture of divorce, it is rarely like it is in the movies. The truth is, there is more than one way to get a divorce and not all of them are litigated in a courtroom as television shows would have you to believe. Two of the alternative forms of divorce -- mediation and collaborative divorce -- offer unique methods to part ways with your spouse. Collaborative divorce, in particular, offers many benefits over the traditional litigated divorce. Here are a few ways a collaborative divorce can benefit you and your family:

1. It Can Save You Money

One of the big benefits of a collaborative divorce is the financial aspect of it. Many people are drawn to collaborative divorce because you usually spend about half as much as a litigated divorce and about a quarter of what you would pay if your divorce went to trial. Collaborative divorces save you from an abundance of lawyer’s fees, court costs, discovery fees and other hidden costs of divorce.

2. You Can Complete the Divorce on Your Own Timeline

Another benefit of a collaborative divorce is that you can take the process as slowly or as quickly as you would like to. Obviously, the longer you take to settle your divorce, the more you will end up paying. But you have the ability to focus more time on topics you find to be more serious, rather than having to make a rash decision because you were rushed. On average, collaborative divorces take about 18 weeks to finalize, which is about a fourth of the time it usually takes to complete a traditional divorce.

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Ex Etiquette: Keeping Things Civil During and After Divorce

Novi, MI collaborative law attorneyThe vast majority of divorcing and divorced spouses do not want to fight. However, a dynamic of disagreeableness, once started, can be very tough to change. If you are in this situation, what can you do? We have two suggestions for you.

First, consider working with an attorney who practices collaborative law. This practice was developed to help couples resolve highly contentious issues in a divorce without having to resort to litigation, where key decisions about the couple’s future get made by a judge. 

Collaborative Divorce Starts With an Agreement, or Contract

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Farmington Hills collaborative divorce attorney, collaborative divorce, collaborative divorce process, children and divorce, divorce and financesIs the collaborative divorce process the ideal choice for everyone? As with most “all or nothing” questions, the answer is “no.” The collaborative approach is now considered the best option for many if not most divorcing couples, but not for all.

To determine if a collaborative divorce is right for you, consider the following yay/nay factors.

1. Threatening Behaviors

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Farmington Hills collaborative divorce attorney, collaborative divorce, collaborative divorce process, divorcing spouses, litigated divorceLegal shows on TV usually depict divorcing spouses with their attorneys on opposite sides of a table, fighting over who gets the beach house or the dog, or accusing one another of lying. It always seems to end with one side storming out and declaring “I will see you in court.”

Thankfully, most divorces are not “as seen on TV.” Nonetheless, many divorces are burdened with conflicting values and interests that must be worked through along with the logistical issues of asset division, bill paying, and child care.

What is Different About the Collaborative Divorce Process?

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Farmington Hills collaborative divorce attorney, collaborative divorce, collaborative family law, Uniform Collaborative Law Act, divorce settlementsDid you know that you can get a divorce in Michigan without going through adversarial court proceedings? 

In June 2014, Michigan became the tenth state in the U.S. to adopt the Uniform Collaborative Law Act, which defines basic standards for the practice of collaborative family law. This act paved the way for Michigan judges and attorneys to fully support and practice a collaborative approach to divorce settlements, including asset distribution, alimony and child support payments, and custody/parenting agreements.

The aim of collaborative law is to create outcomes that best serve the needs and values of all parties involved and to do so through a process that is cooperative rather than adversarial. Negotiation, compromise, and creative problem solving are the bywords of the collaborative divorce process.

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Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
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