What is a Divorce Lawyer?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 April 2020
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A divorce lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in issues pertaining to divorce, including divorce, dissolution, and annulment. Many divorce lawyers are family law practitioners, focusing on a variety of issues related to marriage and family, ranging from adoption to wills. People who are in the process of a legal separation are usually encouraged to retain a lawyer who is familiar with the process, to ensure that their legal rights are protected and to promote an amicable settlement, if possible.

In order to become a divorce lawyer, a lawyer must first attend law school, ideally studying family law topics over the course of his or her education, and qualify to practice law by taking the bar exam. Most bar exams include a written exam and a character assessment to ensure that the candidate is morally fit to practice law. Once qualified, the lawyer will seek work in a practice which handles family law matters, getting practical experience in the field.


The first task of a divorce lawyer is usually the process of drawing up divorce papers when approached by one of the parties in a divorce with a request to do so. In some cases, couples mutually decide to divorce, in which case the couple may approach the lawyer together to ask for legal assistance, but in a more contentious divorce, the divorce lawyer will be consulted by one party only. The petition for dissolution or divorce can be served to the other party after it has been written up and signed by the person requesting the divorce.

One of the key aspects of this profession is the moderation of a settlement when a couple decides to dissolve a marriage. Part of the settlement will include the division of assets, discussions about child custody, and a settlement of alimony and/or child support. A divorce lawyer may also enforce a prenuptial agreement, or become involved in other stipulations of the divorce. If, for example, a couple has fertilized embryos in storage from an infertility treatment, the divorce lawyers for both sides would be involved in deciding what happens with those embryos.

In the case of a contentious divorce, a divorce lawyer may represent a client in court, and in specialized family courts which deal with family-related issues like adoption and child custody. A divorce lawyer may also assist his or her client with structuring a prenuptial agreement at the start of a marriage, ensuring that if the marriage does not end well, much of the legal groundwork for a reasonably amicable divorce will have been laid.


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Post 4

Divorce is really costly, especially if you have to hire a lawyer to look after everything and get you what you deserve. It is well worth the payday loan to pay your lawyer and make sure anything is fair. It is never good when you end up with the bad end of the deal in the divorce.

Post 3

In eight years, I have never once seen any helpful advice here. Lawyers don't seem to like to give free lawyers advice. The only comments I have ever seen here are from non-lawyers giving non-professional 'advice' or lawyers saying "pay me and I will help."

Post 2

@Sneakers41 -I agree that you have to have a strong stomach to be a top divorce lawyer. I often wonder if a family divorce lawyer ever rejects an action that there client wants to bring up or are they always fighting?

For example, my cousin went through a contentious divorce years ago and his ex wife wanted to move to another state with their child. An attorney represented her in doing this which I thought was sort of crummy because a child really needs the mother and the father equally.

The judged ruled that the child could not leave the county which was the right decision but I wonder at what point does a divorce lawyer stop representing their client because this was a case that was morally and legally wrong.

His ex wife admitted that he was an excellent father, so I don’t understand how a case like this could even be considered by an attorney.

Post 1

I think that being a good divorce lawyer must be difficult because it is sad when a marriage breaks up especially when children are involved. Children a lot of times feel responsible for the break up and are heartbroken to have to visit the other parent that might have weekend custody.

To be a top divorce lawyer really means that you have to get the best advantage for your client which means that the other side loses a bit. It must be a really stressful profession and one I don’t think that I could handle doing.

You have to be really detached and focused on your client needs and sometimes the best divorce lawyer will help protect a

party in the divorce so that they could have an easier transition after the divorce.

They sometimes seek alimony for a spouse that might not have been working during the marriage so that they can financially become independent because if you haven’t worked in decades it might be difficult to find a job that will pay enough to sustain you.

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