divorce attorney york pa

Are you considering a divorce but don’t know where to start? Divorce is not an easy process. It can take an emotional and financial toll on a person.

To adequately deal with the stress, it’s important to have people by your side whom you can trust, including a reputable divorce attorney in York, PA.

A trustworthy lawyer understands the complexities of divorce and can help you navigate the process. Keep reading to learn what to know and consider when hiring an attorney.

Prepare for the Divorce Process

Getting a divorce is a long and complex process, but hiring an experienced lawyer can help things go smoothly.

To prepare for the divorce process, gather any documentation you may need to file for divorce. Collect documents on assets, debts, income statements, and tax returns.

If you and your spouse agree on filing for divorce, you might be able to plan financially. You can work together to save money or pay off debts to enter a divorce with a simpler financial situation.

Not all divorces are amicable, so this might not be an option.

Determine Issues Important to You

Every divorce agreement is different, so it’s important to determine what issues are most important to you. It’s not realistic to expect that you will get everything in a divorce.

When you consult with an attorney, it’ll be beneficial to have a list of your priorities and wishes on:

A divorce settlement is bound to come with some compromise. When drafting your list of important issues, consider what you are willing to give up during the divorce proceedings.

Understand an Attorney’s Role

Not every divorce attorney in York, PA, is the same. Consider the level of service you need from a lawyer to understand what role they will play in the divorce.

You might want to hire a lawyer to file for divorce in the right format. They can handle all of the details, including filing and serving paperwork. These are common services in collaborative divorces with few disagreements to hash out.

In more complex situations, you might want your lawyer to take an active role in the process. They can negotiate your asks on your behalf with your spouse’s lawyer.

Some divorce lawyers don’t have experience with court proceedings. Make sure you hire a lawyer with courtroom experience if the divorce calls for it.

Ask the Right Questions

Hiring a lawyer you can rely on during the divorce process is ideal. Facing the emotional turmoil of a divorce with a lawyer you can’t trust puts more stress on the situation.

Although you might be tempted to hire the first lawyer you come across to get through the process quickly, don’t settle. Take time to research your options and take advantage of free consultations.

Treat the consultation as an interview process. Ask these questions to get a better idea of the person you could be working with:

  • How many divorce cases have you handled?
  • What areas of divorce do you specialize in?
  • What is your current caseload?
  • Who will be my main point of contact during the case?
  • Are you familiar with my spouse’s attorney?

Bring all necessary documents to the consultation as well. A lawyer can tell you their strategy based on your case details. From there, you can decide if they are a good fit for your case.

Check Bar Records

After meeting with lawyers, you should have enough information to compare them. However, you should do your due diligence and check with the Pennsylvania State Bar Association.

Checking bar records allows you to view a lawyer’s license and practice record. You’ll find any formal complaints or disciplinary action taken against them.

You won’t want to hire an attorney who has multiple complaints within the past year. You also don’t want to hire someone with a suspended license for violating state bar rules.

Consider the Fee Structure

Divorce lawyers may charge for their services using different fee structures. In a collaborative or uncontested divorce, it’s common for a lawyer to charge a flat fee.

How much you pay in this situation will likely depend on how much paperwork there is. You may pay more for a divorce with a custody agreement than one without.

An attorney may also charge hourly, requiring you to pay a retainer ahead of time to secure the services. Once the retainer funds are used up, you are billed for the hourly rate thereafter.

No matter what fee structure a lawyer uses, you can ask for itemized bills to get a better sense of where your money is going. Ask for an estimate of the total cost of the divorce to avoid any shocks.

Discuss Mediation Options

A divorce attorney can provide you with mediation advice if you want to avoid the courtroom. Divorce mediation involves a third-party mediator who helps you talk and negotiate through divorce-related issues.

Mediation might be less expensive than a traditional divorce. It can eliminate court fees and reduce attorney costs. It’s still a serious process that a lawyer can help with.

Before you enter mediation, a lawyer will help you understand your rights, what you are likely to win in the divorce, and if mediation is a good idea.

Each spouse and their attorneys should be present during the mediation process. The mediator cannot restrict the attendance of either party’s lawyer.

If you and your spouse cannot agree during mediation, your lawyer will already have the information they need to assist you further. They can quickly begin working to help you in court.

Hire a Reputable Divorce Attorney in York, PA

People going through a divorce can face challenging times that require calmness and stability from a professional. Attorney David C. Schanbacher is the person for the job.

As a reputable divorce attorney in York, PA, David concentrates his practice on all aspects of family law. Family lawyers are capable of assisting in simple and more complex divorce cases.

At Blake & Schanbacher Law, LLC., we do everything in our power to help you through the divorce process with as little fuss as possible.

Contact Blake & Schanbacher Law, LLC., to schedule an in-person or Zoom consultation today.