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Traits You Should Look for in a Divorce Attorney

Going through a divorce can be one of the most stressful events in your life. The process can last several months or even years, depending on how contentious (and complicated) your situation is. This is a sensitive and significant issue that can have a massive impact on you and your family. Having an experienced and compassionate divorce attorney working alongside you during your divorce can be an enormous burden off of your shoulders at a time when you need it the most.

The stress of a divorce can take a toll on a person. The experience can be even more difficult when the other parties aren’t willing to cooperate. Divorce is a lengthy and challenging process that shouldn’t be done alone. It’s an economically and emotionally taxing period of your life, making finding a patient and detailed divorce attorney that can help you navigate the process paramount to pursuing the best outcome. 

Finding the right attorney is not always a walk in the park. Due to the bevy of options to choose from, you may have to make several phone calls and do a little research beyond typing “Divorce attorney near me” into your Google search bar. At Brackin & Johnson, we know how difficult it can be to find the right divorce attorney, which is why we spent some time demystifying the process. Let’s take a look at the four traits you should be looking for when trying to find the right divorce attorney for your case.

4 Traits of a Good Divorce Attorney

When you are to start searching for a divorce attorney, you may not have specific qualities in mind. There will be many attorneys to choose from, and there is plenty of goodwill text to sift through. When you start your search, keep these traits in mind:

Trait #1. Experience and Competency 

It’s no secret that you will want an attorney with experience, but it’s not enough that your attorney has simply handled X amount of cases. Look for an attorney who has experience in family law and divorces similar to what you are going through now. If you have a complex circumstance like custody issues or substantial assets/debt, then find an attorney who specializes in complicated child custody and high-asset cases, respectively.

Having a wealth of dedicated experience in your case’s area of law is ultimately one of the most important factors you should be looking for when narrowing down your search. The divorce attorney you pick must have the ability to handle any of the curveballs that may come your way, whether or not your case goes to trial.

Trait #2. Availability 

Asking the attorney about their policies in terms of returning correspondence is crucial. You want to make sure it meets your expectations while you are going through the divorce. It’s essential to understand that your case is likely not the only case that the attorney is working on, so you cannot expect them to always be available to you. 

However, your attorney should still answer your questions promptly or give you a time frame where you can expect a response. You may want to steer away from an attorney that is overloaded or understaffed. You want an attorney that has time to dedicate to your case, and makes expectations clear from the start.

Trait #3. Good Communication Skills

During a case, your attorney will have to communicate with various parties, gather information, and stay on top of correspondence. As a client, you should be able to clearly and easily communicate with your attorney. They should also be open to your questions and be willing and able to explain the law to you in a way that you will understand. There also should be reasonable expectations set for you regarding your case and your options at the beginning of your professional relationship, and at any points throughout where strategy changes or new evidence is introduced.

The attorney should also be able to persuasively negotiate with your spouse’s counsel during the case. This allows for future negotiation and settlement, which is typically much more desirable than litigation. If your case does go to trial, then having an attorney that can litigate aggressively and persuasively for you is one that you will want on your side.

Trait #4. Good Analytical and Research Skills

Creating a legal strategy is complicated and takes some time. Every case needs a large volume of information, records, and facts. Your attorney needs to be able to explore and interpret all the material for your case. After this, they will need to organize the information and figure out the best way to move forward and present the information to suit your case. 

Your divorce attorney needs to be able to analyze the evidence, craft a narrative and build a strategy that factors in and prepares for challenges. Being able to do quick and practical research is an essential attribute of a divorce attorney.

Baldwin County Family Law—Representation Tailored To You and Your Family

At Brackin & Johnson, we get the results you deserve when you need them most. With more than 40 years of experience, we can provide comprehensive care and representation tailored to your needs and unique situation. 

No one divorce or child custody case is the same as the next. We are ready to help you understand your legal stance as a parent, contact us today for the best legal services in Baldwin County. 

Why You Need a Divorce Attorney

Divorce often is a complex process and it can be hard to make sure you follow all protocols demanded of you by the court. Sometimes a do-it-yourself divorce may be acceptable, however, as any legal professional (or divorcee) will tell you, it is recommended that you hire an experienced divorce attorney.

If you are going through a divorce or are seeking one, you might be tempted to file using court-provided information alone. In the beginning, you may be thinking that you can save time and money by representing yourself. What you might not know is that divorce can quickly become a messy process that demands far more legal know-how than you are prepared for.

Having a family law attorney to help you through the process drastically increases the chances of an outcome that is favorable for you and your family. There will be many decisions that you have to make that will affect the rest of your life, in a time where emotions may be especially high. Having an attorney there to explain your options, give you advice, and help you make smart decisions will make a difficult divorce much more manageable and far less stressful.

At Brackin and Johnson, we focus on our clients and providing the best legal services possible. Each of our cases is different, and everyone’s life is unique. We craft a detailed plan to be attentive to the needs of our clients at every stage of the divorce process.

Finding an experienced and compassionate divorce attorney is always in your best interest. It’s a complicated process, and there are many reasons why you should consider having a divorce attorney to help guide you and represent you fairly. 

5 Reasons You Need A Divorce Attorney On Your Side

Divorces are expensive — there’s really no way around it. They can be even more expensive if you don’t know how to fight for what you are entitled to under Alabama state law. There are many rules, several forms, and endless paperwork that are complicated and, if filed incorrectly, could cost you a significant chunk of change and delay your case. The legal system is complicated, and having representation makes all the difference. Let’s take a look at the reasons why:

Reason #1. Get Expert Advice

Sometimes state laws do not always support an even split of assets during a divorce. An experienced attorney can help you get the assets you deserve. In many cases, one party can be awarded retirement or other future incomes from the other party in a divorce. Having an experienced divorce attorney at your side will help you to minimize your risk and strategically advise you on any complications that may arise.. From division of assets, debts, and inheritances to child custody, alimony, and more, having a divorce attorney at the ready to help you navigate the process is imperative. 

Reason #2. Make a Clear and Binding Agreement

There is a mountain of paperwork required just to file for divorce, let alone the plethora of documents that must be filed for specific provisions and requests during the process. . An attorney will be able to make sure the documents presented are accurate and communicate your wishes in a legally appropriate manner. An attorney will also ensure that the divorce decree is free of error or ambiguous language that could make the agreement challenging to enforce.

Reason #3. Reduce Your Stress

Emotions are often high during the divorce process, and stress is to be expected. By hiring an attorney, you take the unnecessary burden of researching Alabama state law and writing in your best legalese while just trying to make it through each day.. There is a reason attorneys spend their whole lives preparing for their role in the legal system: it’s a full-time job to prepare for and litigate a divorce case. You have enough stress on your plate without having to attempt to be your own attorney. Having an attorney on your side allows you more time to focus on what matters: caring for yourself and your family. During a divorce, you have enough to worry about. Let an attorney handle the legal work for you.

Reason #4. Avoiding Delays

While it may initially seem straightforward  to file the court-provided documents when filing for divorce, there can still be complications.. If you go to court without legal counsel, you may find that problems with paperwork could delay the court’s rulings, which in turn could substantially delay the final divorce date. An attorney can help you avoid these problems and ensure that all the proper paperwork is prepared and submitted on-time, saving you time, money and headaches along the way. 

Reason #5. Avoiding Mistakes

There are two common reasons that people make mistakes when they are putting together their divorce papers without legal counsel. The first (and most simple) is that the legal system is complicated. The second is that the stress from the divorce makes it hard to think clearly. Both of these factors compound to create a more-treacherous-than-necessary situation that can put undue stress on someone when things are already hard enough. 

Even forgetting something simple like medical or credit card debt can significantly differ in the divorce proceedings, and cause delays or the need for adjustments to be made or awards to be amended. This mistake could cause financial harm or even require further legal proceedings to correct it.Hiring an experienced divorce attorney from the start can ensure that these mistakes are not made and that all legal paperwork is being handled correctly the first time to avoid any costly mistakes.

Baldwin County Family Law — Representation Tailored to You and Your Family

At Brackin & Johnson, we get the results you deserve when you need them most. With more than 40 years of experience, we can provide comprehensive care and representation tailored to your needs and unique situation. 

No one divorce or child custody case is the same as the next. We are ready to help you understand your legal stance as a parent, contact us today for the best legal services in Baldwin County. 

How Is Child Custody Determined in Alabama?

One of the most challenging decisions that a court makes is in deciding child custody — especially under Alabama divorce law. According to Alabama state law, the court can give custody to the father or mother, or both, based on which arrangement the court determines to be in the child’s best interests after considering the evidence presented. 

The state of Alabama and its divorce courts have the inherent power to enter orders regarding custody and care of any minor children. This can be very stressful for a parent or guardian looking out for what’s best for their children. Understanding the law and where you fit is the first step in navigating the child custody process.

At Brackin & Johnson, we understand that going through child custody proceedings can be tricky. We represent men and women that need expert legal advice and compassionate guidance by providing exceptional service and attention throughout the case. The approach we take helps to ease dispute resolution, utilizing negotiation and mediation as they are necessary. 

Under Alabama’s child custody laws, the court makes the final decision on child/children’s custody. Today, we will take some time to explain what that means and how that might apply to you.

What Does Custody Mean?

Custody is a two-tiered term —the first tier meaning that there is legal and physical custody. Physical custody is meant to define where the child will be residing. In contrast, legal custody refers to the legal guardian who will be making all the critical decisions. These decisions are usually related to raising the child, where or what their education will be, religious choices, and any non-emergency medical care.

The next tier of custody takes both legal and physical custody and breaks them down. 

In the court, granting sole legal custody of the child permits that one parent alone will have decision-making authority. However, if joint legal custody is given, both parties get to have a say in decisions regarding the child. The court may give a certain parent final authority over certain decisions, while giving final authority over other decisions to the other parent. 

On the other hand, physical custody refers to where the child will reside, and the other parent’s visitation rights. If the court grants joint physical custody, the child will live with each parent for a specific period. This time can vary based on the agreement between the two and/or the court’s ultimate decision.

Custody Law in Alabama

Alabama child custody law favors the granting of joint legal custody as the preferred outcome, which will lead to the child/children having continuing to have frequent contact with both parents. This also allows both parents to share the responsibilities and rights of raising their child/children. However, for practical purposes, this analysis is strongly influenced by the judge assigned to your case. 

In Alabama, the court must put into consideration the potential for joint legal custody in every case. Joint legal custody can be awarded to the parents even if they don’t consent to it. If a request for joint legal custody from both parties is made, the court and the law will assume it’s in the child/children’s best interest. 

If this happens to be the case, then the court must rule in favor of it unless the judge is given a significant finding that joint legal custody isn’t in the child/children’s best interest. A custody plan that will fit the child’s interests will be made if the court believes that joint legal custody isn’t the best for the child.

When it comes to physical custody, the judge will consider the distance that the parents live from each other, among other factors. If there is a great distance between the parents, they just may determine that joint physical custody won’t be in the child’s best interest. This happens in most circumstances where moving back and forth could affect the child’s social activities, sports or music lessons, and education.

Alabama Standards for Best Interest of the Child 

There will be many factors that the judge will consider when making a verdict. It is important to note that the child’s preferences may also be considered, but the weight given to such evidence will depend on the age and maturity of the child. Deciding whether to call the child as a witness is not to be made lightly. A good rule of thumb is the older the child, the more their wishes will impact the decision, barring developmental disabilities or other factors that impede their capability to make informed decisions for themselves.. Here are some of the factors that the judge will take into consideration in the best interest of the child:

  1. Age and sex of the child
  2. Impact on the child with any change to the custody agreement
  3. The relationship the child has with each parent
  4. The stability as well as mental and physical health of the parent
  5. Strength of the agreement between each parent
  6. The home environment of the parent
  7. If each parent can meet the needs of the child and what the child’s needs are
  8. The child’s relationship with their siblings
  9. Any recommendations from experts that are involved in the custody case

Baldwin County Family Law — Representation Tailored To You and Your Family

At Brackin & Johnson, we provide a wide variety of legal guidance for anyone looking for a child custody attorney. With 40 years of experience, we understand the importance of finding an attorney that is right for you and will get you the outcome you deserve. We provide comprehensive care and representation that is tailored to your needs and unique situation.

No child custody or family case is the same. We are ready to help you understand your legal stance and figure out a settlement that works directly with your needs. Contact us today for the best legal services in Baldwin County.

Contact Brackin & Johnson Today!

We produce results by getting our clients what they are entitled to receive.

(251) 943-4040

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