Divorcing an abusive spouse can be scary, which is why you shouldn't go through the process alone. You should have an experienced and understanding lawyer by your side to help ensure that your needs are met throughout the divorce process. Here are three important things to consider when choosing a divorce attorney to work with:
If your spouse is threatening you, harassing you, or otherwise making you and your children feel unsafe or uncomfortable, taking legal steps to stay safe is essential. One of the most important things your lawyer can do for you is help secure restraining orders for you and your children if it becomes necessary at any time throughout the divorce process.
So when consulting with potential lawyers, ask each of them what their policies and processes are for filing restraining orders on behalf of their clients. Make sure that you won't be the one who has to do the legwork to get the orders put into place, and find out how much it will cost you to have a restraining order filed for you.
When trying to stay safe from an abusive spouse after separating, money may be tight due to having to hide out and not being able to go to work or send your kids to daycare in fear of harassment. So it's important to consider payment options when comparing potential divorce lawyers to one another. While some attorneys may require payment up front, many are willing to negotiate weekly or monthly payment plans to suit your financial needs.
Ask each lawyer you consider hiring to provide you with a fee schedule in writing so you know exactly how much each service they offer will cost you and when you'll be expected to make the payment for it. You can compare the price lists side-by-side at home, and then factor your findings into the other considerations you're making to help determine which lawyer is likely to offer you the most bang for your buck regarding experience, service, and price overall.
Taking part in mediation can help make the divorce process go quicker, and save you money on legal fees overall. Ask each lawyer you consult with whether or not they're willing to represent you through the mediation process before taking your case to court. Potential lawyers should be able to provide you with insight into whether or not mediation is a good idea for your case, and if so, how they're prepared to handle the mediation work within your case as it progresses.
These considerations should make it a little easier to find the right attorney for your needs who understands the nuances of spousal abuse and how to best support you throughout the divorce process. Contact a lawyer like Law Office of Emily T. Ross to get started.