Getting a divorce in NC can get complicated depending on how well you and your spouse communicate and negotiate your terms. Hot button issues such as child custody or alimony may bring disputes too large to handle on your own. When you can’t agree without help, you have several options available in NC, but hiring a divorce attorney is always a good first step.
Rather than making you feel like your situation is impossible, a divorce attorney should give you the tools you need to succeed in divorce negotiations. It is good practice for an attorney to inform you about mediation or other ways to find common ground in your negotiations.
Your divorce attorney should let you know about the possibilities for negotiation in NC that do not involve a courtroom or lengthy negotiations between attorneys. Mediation is a process in NC where you, as a couple, invite an experienced third party to guide your process of separation. In this process, you, your spouse, and the third party may create a “Memorandum of Understanding” to establish terms that will ultimately go into the final divorce and custody agreements.
If mediation is not for you, your attorney may suggest that she negotiate with the other party to reach an agreement. It’s crucial to pick a divorce attorney who helps you see your available options for negotiation. An excellent divorce attorney can often help you settle the issues with your spouse without courtroom involvement.
Your divorce attorney is the person you must trust to represent your voice, act in your best interest, and speak your words in negotiations. Make sure you pick an attorney you can work well with as your case progresses.
If you can’t communicate well with your attorney, they won’t understand what you expect. Take time during a first consultation to see how you feel when talking with an attorney. If they don’t listen or communicate well, you may feel overwhelmed or unheard. In this case, you may want to seek out a consultation from another attorney who communicates better with you.
If an attorney interrupts continually without apology, talks over you, or doesn’t let you get a word in edgewise, watch out. Also, consider nixing an attorney who brags about how they took others down a notch or talks about themselves continually. The focus should be on the law and your situation, not their outrageous accomplishments.
Instead, look for an attorney who asks questions to understand you and your situation better. Look for someone who listens to your answers and continues delving into issues concerning your spouse and children for more information. Also, consider whether an attorney calls you back promptly and carefully and politely answers any questions you may have.
An attorney needs to understand how best to represent your particular needs. They can’t do that if they don’t consider the issues unique to your situation. The best divorce attorney for you is one who understands how you perceive your own circumstances and works with you for your best interests.
Ability to Pivot
No divorce is the same. A negotiation tactic that works well for one couple may dismally fail for another. Mediation may not be a feasible solution for you and your spouse. Your case may desperately need the attention of a courtroom and a judge’s verdict.
If you struggle with a domestic violence situation, you may need answers on moving forward with a Domestic Violence Protection Order. Or you may not even realize that your partner commits domestic violence as a habit until you mention his threats to your attorney. An attorney should fully understand the laws about decent and humane behavior. Just because you get comfortable being called names or facing threats from a spouse does not make it legally okay. Your attorney needs to understand your situation thoroughly and be prepared to change direction depending on what happens.
Regardless of your personal, marital, or child-related issues, you need an attorney who can devise new strategies as new information comes into play.
For example, let’s say your husband swears for months that he will fight you for complete and sole custody of your children every step of the way. Your attorney may negotiate for shared custody and visitation privileges in this case.
However, let’s say a month later, your spouse receives a DWI and child endangerment conviction on his permanent record. At this point, your attorney should be capable of making a pivot and demanding sole custody for you. Your attorney may fight for your spouse to only get supervised visitations. A judge would likely rule this way in the best interests of your children.
Anytime new information comes to light, your attorney should rethink the case and pivot based on circumstances.
Knowledge & Experience
You place your life and your children’s lives in the hands of a divorce attorney. You must trust that they will act in your best interests and that they fully understand how to fight for your rights.
One way to see how an attorney acts with clients and see what kinds of outcomes you might expect is by checking their reviews. Google usually shows reviews for lawyers right on the results page. If you like the looks of someone’s reviews but see a couple of bad reviews, it’s still logical to set up a consultation.
In your initial consultation, be sure to ask them about the review and find out what went wrong with that client. Almost every business has a few bad reviews. However, if more than half of the reviews are lukewarm at best, it’s time to look at the next attorney.
North Carolina law concerning divorce has legal precedents that an experienced attorney should be familiar with. When you go in for a personal consultation, ask how your attorney might start your case. Then ask your attorney how or why this strategy works. Expect your attorney to give you examples or explain why something will work for you.
Trust Your Attorney
Once you’ve done your research and attended a consultation with an attorney you respect and feel good about working with, move forward. You’ve decided to trust the attorney’s experience, knowledge, and communication style, so listen to their advice. Ask questions, but always consider that their viewpoint is likely better informed than yours.
A divorce attorney may ask you questions and delve into personal or uncomfortable areas to talk about. However, they may realize something about your situation that you have not thought of. Perhaps they understand how to resolve a problem that you did not know was possible. Once you’ve chosen an expert to help you, let them help.
We Can Help
At Plekan Law, we have offices in Apex and Asheville to guide you through the divorce process so that you can move forward with your life. Our goal is to represent your best interests whether you and your spouse need mediation, attorney negotiations, or a courtroom case. We have experience settling child custody, visitation, and support issues. We are also capable of helping you with domestic violence situations.
Our prompt communication and careful consideration of all your situational issues give you the edge you need for the best outcome in your case. Contact us today for an initial consultation and find out how we can help you move through your divorce and go forward with hope for your future.