Divorce When Your Spouse is an Attorney
Divorcing your husband or wife when he/she is an attorney may seem like an uphill battle. However, with proper preparation and qualified counsel, you can be equipped and confident when entering into divorce proceedings with your attorney spouse. The following outline offers general and recommended steps when divorcing a spouse who is a lawyer.
Hire Your Own Attorney
The most important thing to remember when divorcing an attorney is to look out for your own interests by contacting an experienced attorney of your own. Having an advocate to protect your legal rights and the best interests of your children is critical in any divorce matter.
Oftentimes individuals may assume his or her spouse has the upper hand in divorce proceedings because they have more knowledge of the law. This assumption is false. Your spouse has no control over the family court system any more than any husband or wife going through a divorce. In fact, he/she knows nothing more about law and procedure than a good and experienced divorce lawyer does.
Seek Out 2nd and 3rd Opinions
While many individuals ask for a second opinion after receiving a medical diagnosis, individuals often feel hesitant to do so in legal matters. When searching for an attorney to represent you in your divorce, it is important to hire someone who can best advise your interests. Retaining a knowledgeable and experienced divorce lawyer will go a long way in helping ease the transition from marriage to divorce from your lawyer spouse. Seek out a second or even third opinion when selecting a divorce lawyer in order to feel confident that your rights will be protected.
Hire a Forensic Accountant to Value Their Law Practice
In many divorce cases, a forensic accountant is needed to reveal essential financial information during the preparation stage of a divorce. The tasks of a forensic accountant range from calculating how much money is available for alimony payments and child support, to uncovering hidden assets and income streams. In a divorce where one party is an attorney, a forensic accountant will perform a business valuation on the spouse’s law practice. Whether he/she is a solo practitioner or has an ownership interest in a law firm, the practice will need to be characterized and valued during the divorce.
Your spouse’s status as a lawyer may give him or her more to lose than you think. If he or she enjoy practicing law and values his/her professional license, he or she have a lot to lose by acting in bad faith throughout the divorce case. As an officer of the court, if he/she commits perjury by willfully misrepresenting facts under oath or does not cooperate during the process, it could result in public reprimand or suspension/loss of his or her license to practice law.
Overall, it is important to note that divorces where one party is an attorney are often similar to many other divorce cases. Retaining a skilled divorce attorney, gaining a second or third opinion on your case, and hiring a forensic accountant to value your spouse’s law practice are all crucial when divorcing an attorney spouse.
For more information regarding divorce when your spouse is an attorney and how to be appropriately prepared contact the New Jersey divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates. At the law office of Lyons & Associates, we represent men and women throughout New Jersey who have unresolved family law matters. We place a premium on personalized service and attention. For a private consultation, contact us online or call our office at 908-575-9777.
Written By: Lyons & Associates, P.C.