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If you are considering divorce in the near future, there are some things you may need to consider before starting the process. For instance, you must meet certain filling requirements within your specific jurisdiction, such as being a resident within that jurisdiction before you can file. Find out if you can file your own paperwork in your local court, or if a lawyer is required. Each jurisdiction has their own rules and regulations pertaining to how a divorce is handled, therefore contacting your local court and asking questions can prove very helpful.
Contacting a lawyer is always recommended when legal decisions need to be discussed. Although lawyers can seem impossible to obtain due to the cost, it is always recommended to at least contact a few lawyers to obtain important information needed prior to filing for divorce. Most lawyers can provide you with a free consultation to discuss details of your potential case; including cost and payment options. Some lawyers may offer payment plans to help you move forward; however, you will have to make some phone calls to find which lawyer will better meet your needs. Each state has different laws regarding divorce, especially when children are involved; therefore, the importance of a lawyer is vital to discuss issues of visitation, custody, child support, etc. When considering lawyers, some will request a retainer if your case may be extensive in nature, but some may only ask for a flat fee no matter how far the case is taken. You will need to speak to different lawyers to determine which option would be best for you.
Other options to consider if you cannot afford a lawyer would be filing your own paperwork in your jurisdictional court (if your jurisdiction allows). There are some states that do not allow self-filling divorce cases, especially when children are involved, or a lot of property must be split. If your courts do not provide you with documents to file, there are many websites on the internet that offer programs to create divorce papers to file in your local courts. It is very important to know the whereabouts of your spouse if you wish to have court papers sent to them to be served. Oftentimes, after speaking to a lawyer about your potential case, you could obtain enough information to file yourself because of the simplicity of your case.
Whether you decide to file your divorce yourself in the courts or hire a lawyer to do all the work for you, there are more options to consider regarding who decides your case. If you hire a lawyer, they can help you resolve your case without fighting in the courts in front of judge; however, if you do not agree, the judge will decide the outcome of your case. If you file your paperwork yourself, the courts prefer to attempt a court appointed mediator before taking the case to a courtroom.
Ultimately, the most important aspect to consider when divorce is evident, is to get all the facts. Contacting a lawyer can help answer all of your questions accurately; whereas surfing the internet can only provide you with basic information that may provide you little or no validity.
If you need help, we encourage you to speak to one of our New York divorce attorneys today.