When it comes to choosing a divorce attorney in Columbus, there are many options. It is important that you feel comfortable with the attorney. Often uncomfortable and embarrassing topics may be addressed during the course of your case and you want to be able to talk with your attorney openly and honestly.
Making this decision can be stressful and difficult, and it’s an important decision. So here are some things to look for – both good and bad – when you’re looking for the right divorce attorney in Ohio for you.
Why Do You Need a Divorce Attorney in Ohio?
Ending your marriage is a legal process. It is not as simple as filling out some forms you found online and paying the court filing fee. If a furnace or air conditioner breaks, most people would not attempt to fix it themselves by watching a video online. You would hire a professional to ensure that it is done correctly the first time.
Hiring an experienced divorce attorney in Columbus is the same concept. A professional and knowledgeable divorce lawyer will craft the appropriate documents to meet the specific needs of your situation and advise you on any pitfalls or unexpected outcomes so that these can be addressed up front in the documentation. A check box form is no substitute for that experience.
I have represented clients that filed their divorce documents on their own and had to return to court months or years later because they found out the divorce documents did not address everything that was necessary for their situation. Unfortunately for them, they ended up spending more litigating something that could have easily been avoided by having a Columbus divorce attorney represent them during their divorce or dissolution.
I have even had a case where the parties were divorced for several years and once the former spouse died, the other party sued the estate to try to obtain additional assets that were not designated to him during the divorce because they did not fill out everything clearly on the check box separation agreement they filed without an attorney’s assistance. This caused terrible stress for the surviving family members who found themselves dragged into court litigating an issue that could have been handled correctly years prior if the parties had simply hired an attorney.
It is worth the expense of hiring a divorce attorney to represent you for your dissolution or divorce so you can be confident that it was done right the first time.
Look for Two-Way Honesty With Your Divorce Attorney
Honesty is extremely important when choosing a divorce attorney in Columbus. You must be truthful when communicating with your attorney, even if you think some of the facts may make you look bad. Your attorney can only advise you of the best course of action if they know all the facts. We are not here to judge you, we’re here to help.
Honesty from your attorney is of the utmost importance. You want to hire a divorce lawyer that will tell you the truth and not just what you want to hear. Some attorneys take advantage of the emotional state of their clients.
Prospective clients often call a divorce attorney when they are extremely upset and emotional and it can be easy to make a poor decision at that moment. If you are feeling overwhelmed and upset, it’s best to wait until you can think more clearly and logically before starting your search for a divorce lawyer in Ohio.
Divorce Lawyers Should Be Fair and Experienced
Beware of attorneys that encourage revenge or say they will make your spouse pay for hurting you. It may feel like they are on your side at first, but ultimately you will just end up with an expensive bill. Domestic courts in Ohio are not punitive.
Experienced divorce attorneys in Ohio know that in most litigated divorce cases, all marital assets (assets that were acquired during your marriage) will be equally divided between the parties, and the courts prefer shared parenting over one parent having sole custody of the children. There are definitely exceptions to this based on the specific circumstances of each case, but typically that is the starting point of what you can expect from the courts.
It’s helpful to hire a divorce lawyer in Ohio that has experience practicing in the specific court where your case will be filed, especially if it is a contested divorce. Knowing the court’s local rules and the individual preferences of the court’s Judges and Magistrates is helpful in advising a client of their options and how best to proceed.
Unfortunately, some courts are not friendly to divorce lawyers that do not typically practice there. You should ask your prospective divorce attorney if they have experience practicing in the specific court where your case will be filed.
Red Flags and Warning Signs for Your Divorce Lawyer
It’s hard to overstate how important this is – you absolutely want a divorce lawyer who will be honest with you, even if it is not what you want to hear. However, that doesn’t mean you should look for someone who is making you uncomfortable or defensive.
You should beware if a divorce attorney is not on the same page as you. For example, if you want to try to resolve your case amicably, but the attorney is pressuring you to file for divorce, that attorney may not be a good fit for you.
Keep in mind that contested divorce litigation is the most expensive option for clients since it typically takes a long time, possibly even a year or more. Sometimes contested divorce litigation is the best option, but not always.
Your divorce lawyer should provide information and advice on the options available to you so that you can make a decision that is best for you and your family. If the attorney does not discuss alternatives to filing for divorce in court with you, this could be a warning sign. If you feel pressured to file for divorce rather than at least attempting to work out an agreement beforehand, the attorney may not be right for you.
How Many Consultations Should You Have Before Deciding?
As many as you want. Some people only meet with one divorce attorney and decide to hire that person because they feel comfortable with them and confident in their advice. Some people prefer to meet with several divorce lawyers before making a decision.
There is no right or wrong way to select a divorce attorney. Ending your marriage is a difficult decision, and you should feel that you and your divorce lawyer are on the same page so you can proceed with confidence.
How Do You Know You Found the Best Divorce Lawyer For You?
You should feel comfortable with your divorce attorney and confident in your decision.
What To Know When Considering Lewis Legal Solutions as Your Divorce Attorney
I am an African-American divorce attorney in Columbus who works to resolve issues, not ignite them. My practice is focused on helping clients to stay out of court. Litigation alternatives such as dissolution, collaborative divorce, and mediation can help you end your marriage in a cheaper, faster, and more amicable way than a contested divorce.
I provide as much information and advice as I can to help my clients make a decision that is best for them.
Even if you are expecting a difficult time reaching an agreement, there are still out-of-court options available to you such as the collaborative divorce process, mediation, and early neutral evaluation.