Mediation in Divorce and Family Law Cases

WHAT IS MEDIATION?

In many states, mediation has gone from being an option to help resolve issues to a mandatory part of the court proceedings. That is particularly true in cases that involve divorce or custody disputes.

Mediation is called an alternative dispute resolution process. In short it provides you with an alternative to Court to create your own agreements and craft your own orders without submitting those matters to the Judge. This is often a preferred way to resolve disputes in a divorce. The alternative is to proceed to Court and allow a Judge, a complete stranger to you and your children, to hear a few short arguments and testimony and decide your fate. Often such orders may seem like pounding round pegs into square holes with out understanding fully the individual circumstances of the parties. Clearly that is in no one’s best interest and often leads to the long roller coaster ride through court with each party filing new motions year in and year out to change the rulings that the Judge has made.

By contrast, mediation teaches the parties to communicate and to work through their issues productively. In the process, the parties to work with a neutral expert to resolve their disputes in a way that works for them. A mediator is also known as a qualified neutral.

The mediator may be a lawyer, a therapist, a religious leader or other qualified individual. As part of the mediation process, the mediator will not provide either party with legal advice and, instead, will work with the parties on their communication skills to understand the other parties position.

Often mediators will encourage the parties to incorporate into the proceedings other experts to help them in the decision making process,. This may involve the use of appraisers to value a home, accountants and investment counselors to address financial aspects, or a parenting consultant to work through custody and parenting issues. By using one neutral expert, the parties may save thousand of dollars that would be spent for each party to hire their own expert only to remain at an impasse with different results.

WHAT TYPES OF DISPUTES CAN BE RESOLVED THRU MEDIATION?

Mediation can be a useful tool for almost any issue that you encounter in family court. Even the most acrimonious divorces can benefit from mediation by helping the parties resolve some, if not all of their disputes, thereby simplifying the issues to be resolved through the court process.

Mediation may resolve:

disputes between divorcing parties including custody issues, spousal maintenance and property issues;

paternity issues;

restraining order issues.

WHY SHOULD I MEDIATE?

1.Mediation is available any time both parties are willing to engage in the process, even if they are already involved in a contested court case;

2.Mediation is LESS EXPENSIVE than going to court with both parties to the dispute sharing the cost;

How does Legal Separation differ from Divorce

Legal separation is where a married couple legally separate without getting divorced. During this legal process decisions regarding children (such as custody, visitation rights and maintenance payments) and financial issues (such as debt, mortgages and assets) are decided upon. It is really an official separation, going further than simply living apart but not as far as getting a divorce. After a legal separation a couple are still legally married but live separate lives. They are formally living apart and the courts may be used if there are any disputes.

In some ways a legal separation is like a divorce, with the most obvious reason being that the couple are not living together. If a couple have children similar arrangements need to be made as they would were they divorcing, either through agreement or through the courts. Where each spouse lives and who pays for it needs to be established as does who has access to shared funds or assets.

So, why do couples choose legal separation instead of just getting divorced? Some opt for this because they dont like the idea of getting divorced, possibly for religious reasons or they dont want the stigma of being divorced. Often couples use legal separation as a trial to see if they would like to stay together or divorce. It gives them time and space to make a decision. They may find that living apart makes them realise they miss each other and want things to return to the way they were, or they may want to be separated permanently. Sometimes legal separation leads to divorce, sometimes it leads to reconciliation and sometimes they remain separated without getting divorced.

Although some couples remain separated for good without divorcing, this is fairly rare. If they are not going to remain together as a couple most will prefer to cut their ties with each other. Another important consideration is that while still married, they are unable to marry anyone else.

So, is legal separation necessary or can couples simply live separately without the legal process? Well, they can if they wish, but it is not always that simple. Whether that is preferable depends on an individual couples situation and preferences. Legal separation can be more complex in some ways due to the legal processes that must be gone through. But, on the other hand, it can also simplify things as they will both know where they stand on certain issues.

Beatrice Sareen (c)

Landlord and Tenant Law – The Importance of A Written Tenancy Agreement

Does a Tenancy Have to Be in Writing? Under the Law of Property Act 1925 and the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1989 any contract for the creation of an interest in land is invalid and unenforceable unless it is do so in writing. Interest in land would include mortgages, sales and transfers, charges or leases. The exception to this rule is that an oral lease may be created so long as it is;

* For the best rent reasonably obtainable (i.e. a market rent) * For a period of less than 3 years

This means that a tenancy can generally be created by verbal a agreement, although this isn’t advisable as verbal contracts would be difficult to prove and if the relationship between the landlord and the tenant breaks down, an expensive court proceeding may be have to take place in the absence of clear and unambiguous terms. This is why a written tenancy agreement is therefore in the best interests of both the landlord and the tenant.

Written Statement of Terms At the moment every residential tenancy is presumed to be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy unless there is an agreement that states otherwise. Tenancies of this type are subject to special rules.

When there is no written tenancy agreement, section 20A of the Housing Act 1988 provides that the tenant is entitled to be provided on demand with a written statement setting out the following terms of the tenancy:

* Term or length of the tenancy

* Date on which the tenancy commenced

* Dates on which rent is payable

* The rent due under the tenancy

The landlord is required by law to provide this statement within 28 days of receiving written notice from the tenant. Any failure to comply with the requirements of this act wil be classed as a criminal offence and if a landlord fails provide the requested statement within 28 days, they may be convicted and fined up to 2,500.

What Should I Put In The Tenancy Agreement? The information on dates and rent payments that landlords are obliged to provide the tenant under the Housing Act, a tenancy agreement will usually include provisions which relate to the following:

* Details of additional bills & service charges

* Inspections

* Procedure for ending the tenancy and resolving disputes

* Procedure for varying the rent

* Responsibility for maintenance

* Restrictions on the use of the property

In all tenancies, the tenant will have a number of basic rights which cannot be taken away or restricted, and any provision of the tenancy agreement which attempts to do so will become invalid. Where one provision or term of a contract such as a tenancy is found to be invalid, other provisions which refer or relate to that term may be unenforceable. Because of this, care should be taken when drafting a tenancy agreement and you may want to consult a professional.

If you own several properties which you rent out, it may be more cost-effective for you to ask a lawyer to draft you a standard-form tenancy agreement which you can customise for each individual property rather than consulting a solicitor for each individual tenancy.

Islamic Divorce in New York State

Muslims residing in the State of New York are in a dual situation when it comes to the implementation of family law. On one hand, they are governed by the religious law of Islam, known as Islamic sharia, and on the other hand, the secular family law of the state of New York. To Muslims, the family law of Islam mandates that marriage and divorce among Muslims should be done in accordance with the Islamic sharia, regardless of whether they live in an Islamic or secular country. Civil divorce decrees obtained by secular courts are not recognized by Islamic sharia.

Under Islamic law, a Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman, whereas a Muslim woman is prohibited from marrying non-Muslim man. Under these rules, a non-Muslim woman marrying a Muslim man in compliance with Islamic sharia is subject to the rules of Islam in the areas of divorce, child custody and inheritance. In other words, a non-Muslim woman who gets married to a Muslim man in accordance with Islamic sharia, loses custody of her children in case of divorce, or in case the husband dies. Consequently, a non-Muslim woman marrying to a Muslim man is forced, under the rules of Islamic sharia, to surrender custody of her son when he reaches the age of seven, and her daughter at the age of nine. She also prohibited from inheritance. These rules are applied throughout Muslim countries with a system of sharia-based family law in place.

Marriage Contracts in Islamic Sharia
Under the rules of Islamic sharia, the marriage contract should include: (1) names and addresses of the couple; (2) name of the guardian of the bride; (3) names and addresses of two male witnesses; and (4) the amount of mahr, or a promise of money or its equivalent to be given by the husband to the bride. Like any other civil contracts, Islamic marriage contract should be in the form of offer and acceptance by the parties.

Contrary to the popular notion that mahr is dowry; it is not. A dowry is what the wife contributes to her marriage while mahr is an obligation on the husband to pay his future bride. Others call it a gift; it is not a gift either, because mahr is an obligation on the husband and is mandated by the Quran. The Quran calls it sadaq (Quran 4:4). If no stipulation of mahr is provided in the marriage contract, the marriage remains legal and in effect; in such a situation, the “qadi” (judge) will determine the amount of mahr, which remains a property of the wife alone. The amount of mahr can be paid partially: up-front (Arabic, muqaddam), and deferred until divorce or death of the husband (Arabic, muakhar), or it may be prepaid in full before the consummation of the marriage.

Legal Status of the Mahr Provision in Islamic Law
The most important feature of the mahr provision is that one party makes an offer and the other can accept or refuse to accept. It is a financial settlement between the couple in case a divorce occurs or the husband dies. Although, Muslim women do not personally bargain for the mahr agreements, and, in almost all of the divorce cases that I have seen so far, in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, Islamic marriage agreements involving mahr are negotiated by the representative (Arabic Wali) of the bride.

In the State of New York, an Islamic marriage contract involving mahr may be considered premarital agreement for a divorce settlement. In legal terms, this is called a concurrence of wills or meeting of the minds of the future husband and his future wife. This also means that each party from an objective perspective engaged in conduct manifesting their acceptance, and a contract was formed when both parties met such a requirement.

The basic rule is that a premarital contract will be interpreted and enforced in accordance with the law of the state in which it was entered into. Thus an Islamic marriage contract signed in Egypt according to the Egyptian law for example, must be interpreted according to the law of Egypt. The Restatement of the Law Second Conflict of Laws 3d, Chapter 8, Contracts, is clear about the law for the state chosen by the parties to a contract. The text of the Restatement reads: “(1) The law of the state chosen by the parties to govern their contractual rights and duties will be applied if the particular issues is one which the parties could have resolved by an explicit provision in their agreement directed to that issue.”

Looking at both academic and case studies in this area of law, this article points the reader in the direction of the current trends in the treatment of mahr in New York State and to address Islamic family law issues relevant to New York State law and the working of its legal system. The mahr provision in an Islamic marriage contract has been interpreted differently in other states. For more information on treatment of mahr in other states, the individual should seek legal advice.

Interpretation of the Mahr in New York State
Muslim men and women assert their Islamic legal rights in American family courts; as a result, Islamic sharia governing their marriages and divorces becomes an important and complicated part of the American legal landscape. This leads to a discussion of court cases involving Muslim marriage and divorce litigations in the State of New York, as well as whether New York courts will enforce the terms of Muslim marriage contracts, mainly the mahr provision.

New York courts have jurisdiction over divorce cases within its territory, with specific focus on premarital contract structured in accordance with foreign laws. And, various state courts have found no public policy prohibition in enforcing such agreements. In New York, a mahr agreement may be interpreted within the context of a contractual obligation.

In Aziz v. Aziz, the couple entered into a mahr agreement which required the payment of $5,032, with $32 advanced and $5,000 deferred until divorce. The New York court ruled that the contract conformed to New Yorks contract requirements, and that “its secular terms are enforceable as a contractual obligation, notwithstanding that it was entered into as part of a religious ceremony.” (See Aziz v. Aziz, N.Y.S.2d at 124).

In this case, the husband argued that the mahr agreement provided in the Islamic marriage contract could not be enforced because it was a religious document and was not enforceable as a contract. The wife responded by stating that although the mahr is a religious stipulation; its secular terms can be properly enforced by the court. The court agreed with the wife and ordered the husband to pay the deferred mahr. The court found that the mahr agreement complied with the necessary statutory requirements to be recognized and enforceable as a premarital agreement and held that the secular terms of the mahr agreement were “enforceable as a contractual obligation, notwithstanding that it was entered into as part of a religious ceremony.” The court stated that the mahr agreed to by the couple constituted a secular debt of $5,000 and ordered the husband to fulfill the terms of the agreement.

The case was based entirely on another New York of Appeals case of Avitzur v. Avitzur involving a Jewish Ketubah in which a Jewish woman sued for specific performance to force her ex-husband to appear before a Beth Din (Jewish Court). Under Jewish Law, only a man can grant a divorce, or “Get”. Until he does, the woman cannot remarry within the Jewish faith to anybody. Her children will then be considered illegitimate. In order that a “Get” may be obtained, both husband and wife have to appear before the Beth Din. The husband refused to appear, leaving the woman in a state of marital limbo, making her an “agunah.” The New York Court of Appeals found that the Jewish ketubah constituted a valid premarital agreement that could be enforced despite the religious underpinnings of the agreement.

Conclusion
As the second largest religion, and with the number of Muslims immigrating to the United State on the rise, American courts are more frequently looking into Islamic divorce litigations between Muslim couples. Out of respect to Islamic law and culture, American courts attempt to apply certain provisions from Islamic sharia, such as the mahr contract in divorce cases involving Muslim couples. By doing so, American courts risk involving their arguments with gender and economic inequalities between Muslim men and women, leaving Muslim women destitute. The application of mahr agreements in Islamic divorce in the United States prevents women from exercising their rights to equitable distribution of marital assets upon divorce. If the courts need to extend their respect to Islamic law in divorce situations, they should look into whether the wife had a choice in signing the mahr agreement. Muslim women do not personally bargain for the mahr agreements, and, in almost all of the divorce cases that I have seen so far, in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, the Islamic marriage agreements involving mahr are negotiated by the representative (Arabic Wali) of the bride. Other states do not regard the mahr to be a premarital contract. Individuals seeking information on the treatment of mahr by other states should seek legal advice from a competent attorney.

DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

Republishing of this article is hereby granted by the author.

Quick Divorce Miami — 4 Myths About Divorce Mediation

Are you looking for a quick divorce in Miami? Then I’ll tell you what many people have probably already told you before — hire a divorce mediator. But if you have doubts about divorce mediation, this article will debunk four of the most common myths about this relatively new practice.

Myth #1 – Mediation Is Like Marriage Counseling.

I’ll say it once and for all — mediation is NOT marriage counseling. Divorce mediation operates on the assumption that you, and your spouse, WANT the divorce. And so it works towards quickly and conveniently reaching a compromise that both parties are happy with.

Your Miami divorce mediator will take your needs and expectations from the divorce, and then impartially compares them with your spouse’s. Then, taking the divorce laws of Florida into consideration, your mediator will craft a settlement that both you and your spouse will find acceptable.

Myth #2 – Mediation Is An Unnecessary Expense.

It’s a given that divorce is expensive. When done the “usual way,” you’ll have two lawyers (yours and your spouse’s) battling it out in court, with their endless debates and adversarial letters going back and forth for over a year. As your legal bills pile up, why add the cost of mediation to the mix, right?

Fortunately, that’s not how it works. Hiring a divorce mediator actually happens BEFORE you go to the courts. Couples who do so can look to save up to $12,000 or more, because they don’t need the services of their lawyers yet while the divorce mediation sessions are going on.

Myth #3 – Mediation Only Delays The Inevitable.

Sure, divorce is inevitable between you and your spouse. But hiring a divorce mediator is hardly a delay! In fact, since divorce mediation avoids the usual confrontation and endless debates, it actually saves time by helping you and your spouse reach an agreement much more quickly.

The average time required by a divorce mediator to help couples reach amicable settlements is 90 days — 15 months less than what the courts usually take to do the same! Your mediator will ensure a quick divorce in Miami by helping you and your spouse reach an agreement, drafting it up, and then forwarding it to your lawyers to be finalized with the courts.

Myth #4 – Mediation Is Discouraged By The Legal System.

Yes, some lawyers disagree with divorce mediation, and insist that the legal system is still the best venue to process divorce cases. We can’t blame them for saying so — after all, they make much of their living processing divorce cases!

But today, Miami courts actually like divorce mediation. Since they won’t have to sit through months and months of debates, they speed up the processing of other cases. What’s more, divorce mediation is also recommended by lawyers who sincerely care for the well-being of their clients and their families.

Want A Quick Divorce In Miami?

The answer is simple — find a good divorce mediator! The best ones out there have been doing it for quite a while, have good knowledge of the Florida legal system, and have a long list of satisfied clients in their portfolio.

The Real Divorce Cutting the Ties that Bind

Your divorce decree is only step one in moving into a new life after divorce. The real divorce is the cutting of the emotional, mental and physical ties that still bind you to your ex-husband. This is the real work of divorce recovery: becoming a single woman possessed of confidence, self-esteem, an enthusiasm for life and most important, a complete break from the emotional turmoil that led to your divorce in the first place.

All too often, women experience the same conflicts with their ex that originally led to divorce: constant arguments, reactive behavior leading to emotional upsets, old patterns of reliance, the barrage of destructive barbs aimed at your self-esteem and deep hurts. To truly be divorced you must put forth great effort and inner work that will sever your ties to your ex and you must build a structure that will facilitate that work.

Let me give you examples: You and your ex have children together therefore you must be in contact with one another on a regular basis. Unfortunately, your discussions with him always end in an argument. Nothing happens easily. The deep resentments and hurts suffered in your marriage and actual divorce remain intact. You each know each others hot buttons and continue to push those buttons resulting in upsets. Its the old marriage still running the game. You continually get sucked into this abyss.

If this is the case for you know that you have not divorced on an emotional level. You are an ex-wife versus a divorced woman. Somewhere inside of you there is still an attachment of some sort to either your marriage or your ex. You need to look inside to determine where you are still tied to him.

Acceptance of your new place in life is mandatory. Acceptance comes from acknowledging that your marriage is over with no hope or wish for it to continue. Acceptance allows you to living in a way that reveals a freedom from the past. It means living in the present and the future. It takes work but before you can do this work, you must put in place new rules that will lay the groundwork for a completely new relationship with your former husband. These rules are there to protect you from any further hurts or upsets.

You must build a new structure that empowers you versus disempowering you. Take the analogy of going on a diet to lose weight. You need to create an environment that will both motivate and move you towards your goal. To do so you remove all of the temptations that lead to over-eating or eating the wrong foods. You clean out all the junk food form the cupboards and replace them with healthy and non-fattening foods. You create a support system with a friend who you can call when you feel yourself slipping into your old eating habits. You take on a partner in your exercise program. In other words, you do everything that you can to surround yourself with ways to achieve your goal.

You must do the same thing when you are working at disentangling yourself from your ex. Create an environment that will help, not hinder your progress towards true independence. Remove all the temptations to stay connected to your ex. Within this framework you are free to do the inner work of healing.

How to Choose a Good Divorce Lawyer

Every relationship begins with a feeling of love and affection. But there can be some unfortunate situations where your life becomes a maelstrom. The marriage that you thought would give love and happiness will end up a lacuna. You experience a mlange of emotions when a necessity to proclaim a divorce arises. What you need the foremost in a situation like that are good lawyers who can understand your emotions, the emotional and financial stress that you are undergoing and help you accordingly. Moreover, the lawyer should be someone who can explicate things in a proper way for you to understand as the divorce process is going to be rigorous and time consuming. Since it is an intricate issue that is subject to too many complications and lots of mutual disagreement, it is indispensable to be circumspect. So it becomes a necessity to know how to choose a good divorce lawyer.

Qualities of a Good Lawyer

The lawyer you are looking for, in short, should be a legal eagle. After all, you entrust your future in the hands of the lawyer. An effectual lawyer is the one who will
Assist you in the proceedings of the court and the case
Provide courtly response for the questions that you pose
Help you understand the positive and negative aspects of the case
Assist you in concentrating on the important part of the divorce, keeping in mind the emotional problems. Precautions to Be Taken

You can carry on one of these procedures before you choose the right person to represent you in court.
Talk to friends or people who have already undergone the legal proceedings of a divorce.
Do comparative study by talking to more than one lawyer and check out how they differ and what is beneficial to you.
Think twice if you are comfortable talking to the lawyer about your marriage life.
Observe their opinion about arguing for child custody, if you have a child.
Talk to the lawyers personally and not through phone as this can give you an idea about how honest the lawyer is.
Do not let the desire of getting a divorce soon and breaking up from the marriage affect your analysis about the lawyer.
Check if the lawyer will effectively take care of the settlements, the alimony or the palimony. Clarifications to be Carried Out

Once a lawyer has satisfied all these criteria there are a series of questions that you should ask them to make sure you have chosen the right one. Some of them being,
For how long has the person been pursuing law as a career.
The lawyers area of expertise.
The trail experience that the lawyer possesses.
How has the lawyer handled cases that were similar to your case.
To what extent the lawyer has knowledge about the settlement and parental alienation.
The process of filing and getting a divorce in the city of your residence.
The apparent issues and obstacles in the case.
Duration of the process and the process that s/he would recommend.
Amount you are going to pay them.
The schedule of payment.Play Your Part Honestly

Hernia patch lawsuits

Hernia Patch Litigation Court Will Hear Claims by Patients With Non-Recalled Hernia Mesh and Patch Devices Manufactured by Bard, Inc. and Davol, Inc.

The court assigned to oversee the nationwide hernia patch and mesh lawsuits will hear claims of patients with both recalled and non-recalled hernia mesh and patch devices.
Over the last few years a number of patients have brought hernia mesh patch lawsuits against C.R. Bard, Inc., and Davol, Inc. alleging that their hernia mesh patch devices were defective and caused injuries. A large number of the claims were brought after an FDA hernia patch recall including claims based on defects in hernia mesh patches non-recalled hernia mesh patch devices.

Hernia patch lawsuits from across the United States have now been consolidated into a single court for all pretrial proceedings. In a recent ruling the court clarified the scope of the consolidated proceedings to include both recalled and non-recalled devices.

The federal Multi-District Litigation court has announced that it will hear hernia mesh and patch lawsuits involving both recalled and non-recalled devices manufactured by C.R. Bard, Inc., and Davol, Inc., including the following;
-All nine (9) models of Bard ComposiX Kugel Hernia Patches (Product Codes 0010201 through 0010209);
-All other Davol hernia patches with PET rings, including the Bard Kugel Hernia Patch; Bard VentraleX Hernia Patch; Bard CK Parastomal Patch; and Bard Modified Kugel Patch; and
-Other Davol hernia meshes composed of layers of polypropylene and ePTFE, including the Bard Composix E/X Mesh.

Hernia patch lawyers at The Johnson Law Firm, a national law firm representing a large number of patients who have been injured by the recalled Bard Composix Kugel Hernia Mesh Patch are evaluating claims by patients with non-recalled hernia patch and mesh products manufactured by Davol, Inc. and C. R. Bard, Inc. Hernia patch lawsuit information, hernia patch class action information, hernia patch recall information and claims evaluations are available at no cost to affected patients at and toll free at 1-866-374-0338.

How To Find The Best Philadelphia Divorce Lawyer

The end of a marriage can be painful, frustrating and emotionally taxing and is seldom a good experience. In such tough times, however, it is all the more important to make sure the process doesn’t produce any more bitter moments and that the separation goes off as smoothly as possible.

Because people are not really in the right frame of mind, they make decisions that can adversely affect them in the long term and the consequences can be quite bitter. This is why it is very important to find a good divorce lawyer. This guide will help you find the right Philadelphia divorce lawyer for your case, so that you can leave the tough decisions during the divorce to the professionals and let them handle your case, instead of you taxing yourself even more.

Divorce is not only painful but it can be incredibly complex with a host of issues coming up during the separation, right from children to finances and property distribution. There can be many complications involved in each of these. Therefore, you should let the best Philadelphia divorce lawyers handle your case so that you don’t need to stress more and your case can proceed smoothly. Taking the time off to research and find the best Philadelphia lawyers will greatly help your cause and will surely be worth the time and effort spent in trying to find one.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR?

So the simple question is, how do you find the best Philadelphia divorce lawyers to fight your case? There are several things that you will need to look at while choosing the right lawyer.

*Experience: Experience is important for a divorce lawyer because there is a lot of learning from the practical cases and not just books. Divorce can take unexpected turns during the case. If your lawyer has enough experience in the field, then he will be ready for anything the other party throws at you, and thus be able to protect you and serve your interests better.

Make sure that your lawyer is well experienced not just in terms of the number of years he has been practicing law but also the number of divorce cases he has handled over his career. Experience in this particular field is important.
Another important thing to note is that different states can have very different divorce laws and a lawyer who has been practicing in one state for a long time might find it difficult if he suddenly takes up a case in a new state. You would ideally like your lawyer to have worked and have the experience in your state.

*Specialization: It is best to entrust the complex issues of divorce to an expert who specializes in this field. It is thus important to find a lawyer who specializes in divorce and family law. Experience can be important in divorce because a lot of potential complexities might arise during the case. Thus it is best to entrust your case to someone who really knows about this in depth.

This might seem to be obvious and straightforward, but unfortunately it is not – the process of finding a specialized lawyer is also complex! This is mainly because there is no standardized legal definition of a ‘specialist’ and thus any lawyer can claim that he is a divorce specialist.

However, you would want the best Philadelphia divorce lawyer who is actually an expert in this field. This can be accomplished in several ways. One way is to talk to your potential lawyer directly about your concerns and he should understand. Then, he should be able to substantiate his claims of being a specialist divorce lawyer. Another way is to approach law firms that specialize in divorce. This way you can be sure you have the right lawyer working for you who understands your situation and your pain and can help you out throughout the process.

*Secondary Skills: Secondary skills are important in certain cases of divorce when there is much at stake apart from the usual. For example, many divorces can get financially messy and it can take a lot of time and effort to sort them out. In fact, financial considerations are very important during any divorce and if you have sizable investments tied up, then you should make sure that you have not only the best Philadelphia divorce lawyer but also someone who is well versed in financial troubles of a divorce.

The secondary skills that a lawyer will require will depend on your particular case and is usually hard to generalize. However, you will need to decide what other problems your divorce might be facing and then choose your lawyer accordingly.

*Flexibility: Flexibility for a divorce lawyer is very important because of the uniqueness that each case presents. The way you and your ex separated has a lot of bearing on the case. No one likes court cases and lengthy legal proceedings unless absolutely needed. If possible, it is best to reach a settlement out of court and the best Philadelphia divorce lawyers understand this.

Of course, at the same time, your lawyer should be ready to get tough if your interests are threatened and need to be protected. Therefore the right mix of mediation and aggressiveness is required in a divorce lawyer and he should be able to change his advice and strategy according to your particular case.

WHAT TO ASK

It is very important that you get the best Philadelphia divorce lawyers working on your case and for this you will need to question them on various aspects that relate to your case at hand. This should greatly help you narrow down your choices and ultimately choose the right lawyer for your case.

Asking questions is important before the initial consultation for several reasons. Firstly, you should be able to select just the right lawyer for your case who not only has all the qualities that have been outlined above but who is also a good fit for your case, who shares your own vision, direction and approach for your case. This will ensure compatibility during the case and you can work together instead of working against each other. There are many cases when people want to change lawyers in the middle of the case, which can be quite a problem. Therefore it is important to select the right lawyer from the start.

Secondly, lawyers charge initial consultation fees so you should be able to gather all the relevant information before this so that you can make up your mind. When you ask these questions, it is always advisable to write down the answers because it will be easier to compare with other lawyers.
It is good to meet with a few lawyers before deciding upon the final one for your case, to select the best fit. When you question all the lawyers that you meet, you will know their strengths and weaknesses as relating to your case, and then you can weigh them to finally decide which lawyer will be best suited to handle your case.

*Expertise: As mentioned earlier, it is important for a lawyer to be an expert in divorce cases and not just overall experience. Thus inquire about what percentage of the cases handled by that lawyer were related to divorce and family law. Also inquire about how many years he has been working in this specific area and also whether he is practicing in the state or out of state.
It also helps to look at the educational or other qualifications. Certainly a Harvard law graduate is more likely than not to be a great lawyer. Look for any certification or training or other kinds of specializations that are in the family law and divorce area.

Also ask about recent cases and let him tell you about a case that was similar to yours, so that you can have the confidence that this person will be able to handle your case. Also, look for any other kinds of requirements like financial cases, etc. that may be relevant to you.

*Availability: Availability is an important issue to look for in any lawyer. It is not just good enough if the best Philadelphia lawyer is working on your case but is unable to really concentrate and spend time on your case. Therefore you should inquire about the lawyer’s current caseload and whether he will be able to take on your divorce case.

At this stage, it is also important to make sure that it is really the lawyer that you are talking to who is ultimately responsible and who takes up your case. There are various people at a law firm that will also work on your case and you should ask about them as well, etc. paralegal staff, associate staff, interns, etc. Make sure that your lawyer is the one ultimately responsible for everything.

Also, you should inquire about how often you can meet him and how long he estimates the case to take. Also, make sure that you are able to meet with not only his associates but also him as and when required. It is good to meet and interact with everyone working on your case, but when needed, you should be able to talk to your lawyer directly.

Finally, ask about how you can contact him – through phone or email and stick to it. Many lawyers might find email to be more convenient than a phone call unless it is an emergency, but you should be equally comfortable with that particular mode of communication.

*Fees: This is a very important part of deciding on your lawyer because you do not want to be spending a fortune. You should be able to get an estimate of what it will cost, overall. To all the lawyers that you meet, you should firstly ask about their hourly rate and also how it is charged. Some lawyers keep track of the exact time while others sell their time in chunks of 10 or 15 minutes. This may not seem significant but can make a sizable difference to your bill.

Then you should ask about all the additional people you will need to pay, like secretaries, accountants, etc. that directly or indirectly work on your case. This can form a significant part of your bill, so make sure this issue is cleared up in advance. Also ask for any additional professionals that you may require on the case who will also need to be paid, like psychologists or detectives.

Ask the lawyer to keep the fee structure straightforward and tell you all the expenses that you will need to incur. Do you have to pay for the photocopies? Do you have to pay for any additional services during the case? How are the fees handled if the case goes to trial? All these need to be cleared up before you can decide on one particular lawyer.

If you follow all the above advice, you will be able to have a great lawyer working on your case so that your divorce process can be as smooth as possible, mitigating any other possible sources of stress that you might have to face. The best Philadelphia divorce lawyers are ready to work for you, so you should make the most of their skills and expertise.

The Characteristics to Look For in a Divorce Attorney

After all the basic proceedings and other formalities of a marital breakup, a good divorce attorney is needed. Thus, it is vital to start looking for the most excellent San Diego Divorce Lawyers as soon as possible. To find such an expert it is necessary to look for the important characteristics that one should have, in order to achieve optimistic outcome. Below are a few factors that are found in common in some of the best San Diego Divorce Attorneys.

Knowledge, Skills and Practice:

Knowledge, skills and practice, are all the 3 aspects that are always present in an experienced lawyer or attorney as it proves their capability and power of handling different types of cases. Therefore, looking for an attorney that is much more experienced with cases similar to yours will do the trick for you. Because they are much familiar of those cases and there are more chances of better case handling with such lawyers than the others. There are many lawyers who are greatly competent in spousal support cases but the same lawyers are incapable of conducting property division cases. It completely makes sense; therefore, it is vital to search for the right experts.

Competency:

There are numerous fields and subjects of a divorce case i.e. spousal support, property division, child support, enforcement orders and legal counseling, a lawyer who is trained for the most of these subjects and is an expert of handling a majority of such multifaceted cases should only be hired, as they are the only professionals who can help you attain the control of almost 100 percent of this situation. Monetary man wishes to have more of the property while the parent-side of the same person wants to support his child, if an incompetent lawyer is chosen he may be able to get you one or two of the mentioned aspects while the control to others will be completely lost.

Easy-To-Get-To:

Because such cases are one of the most delicate ones, lawyers should be very much reachable. Check by faxing, mailing, calling, and contacting them by other means. If they respond promptly then, accessibility is assured. These cases can take solid turns at any minute, about which the lawyers should be notified right away to lead the case positively; this reason defines this factor as the foremost and primary characteristic. Other than just timely response it is important to see if they are punctual with the time they give for meetings and appointments.

With all these characteristics, it is also important to see what people say about these San Diego Divorce Attorneys and Lawyers. This can be done by reading reviews online. These reviews are written by their clients who have won, lost or partially taken over their cases; they are enough to know about the lawyer’s strong and weak points and what their specialty is. This kind of research may consume a few hours but it is necessary to read several review before trusting as such cases usually do not appear more than once in a lifetime.