Years back, family law and divorces were looked down upon by the legal industry. The legal professional considered divorces as an area of law which could be done by anyone and hence there were very few attorneys who specialized in family law. Currently there is a different scenario altogether and that too for several reasons. Divorce is extremely common, setting a shattering impact on at least 50% of the population. Divorce doesn’t cast a bad spell on the two people who get separated but also on their friends, relatives and children who also bear the brunt of divorce. In short, divorce is now a specialty which is indeed a very difficult one.
If you’re reading this post, chances are high that your marriage is dissolving and you’re seeking help of a divorce lawyer to assist you with the complicated legal aspects. Making the mistake of hiring a lawyer whom you don’t know can be unsettling as divorce is generally a personal and sensitive matter. Let’s take a look at the few vital responsibilities of a divorce attorney.
Conflict of interest
One of the foremost things which your lawyer may ask for is the identity of your spouse and he asks for this information to ensure that he/she hasn’t already got in touch with him. If your spouse has already contacted him, he will inform you that he is not going to talk to you further. Similarly, if your spouse consults him after you’ve hired him; he will decline speaking with him/her. Attorneys are never allowed to serve both the parties unless both spouses have a written consent. You should feel secured with your attorney to know that he is loyal to you.
Signing the confidentiality agreement
The privilege between an attorney and a client begins when you sign on the retainer agreement and hire him. The divorce attorney is legally bound to keep your information secret and confidential. He can never disclose to anyone what you have told him in the due course of consultation. However, an exception to this rule is when you sue your attorney for malpractice; he can speak against you and even discuss confidential information while on the stand.
Represent you zealously
It is the responsibility of your divorce lawyer to represent you fervently where he should do everything that is in his power and that is within the law and ethics, to work in achieving your favored result. However, this doesn’t mean demeaning your spouse or taking resort to unlawful means to squeeze information and use against him/her.
Bearing the financial responsibilities
Regardless of their area of practice, all attorneys can’t charge hefty fees. The rate of fees that will be charged is decided on the type of law and also the complexity of the case. The fee structure of the attorney will be clearly defined and it should be shared with you in writing. This is dealt with in the attorney retainer agreement’s compensation section.
Besides all these, a divorce lawyer should also accompany you to the court, conferences and hearings. He should support you during lengthy paperwork and settlement negotiations. So such is the complex yet necessary role of a divorce attorney in completing a divorce successfully.