How to Find the Best Columbus Divorce Attorney for You

Facing a divorce is one of the toughest things a person can go through, but the good news is that there are many ways to make it easier. Having a good divorce attorney who is right for you at your side is one of the first steps in alleviating your burden.

Three Qualities to Look for in a Divorce Attorney

Finding the best divorce attorney in Columbus for you is critical in making sure that your path to clearing the steps of divorce are as smooth as possible. Out of the things you should look for, three things are absolutely critical.

1. You Come First

At the top of the list should be finding a divorce attorney who truly puts your personal needs and concerns about divorce first. You need someone who will listen to you and make sure that the goal is always geared toward your best interests. For example, there are several ways of ending a marriage in Ohio:

  • Divorce: The first is what is properly termed a divorce. A divorce in Ohio means a court process initiated by one party serving a complaint upon the other. It is often a contested divorce that involves indicating a basis for fault.
  • Dissolution: The second is dissolution, in which both spouses agree to end the marriage and agree upon terms to do so. With dissolution, no aspect of the divorce must be in dispute, otherwise, the court-mediated process for divorce is needed to solve it. So especially in cases where there are children or many lucrative assets involved, spouses who would prefer a dissolution should talk openly and thoroughly about what should be done.
  • Annulment: The third type is an annulment, which essentially deems that your marriage never happened in the first place because of some legal defect that was present when you entered into it.
  • Legal Separation: Spouses may also choose legal separation, which results in an agreement covering many of the same issues that a divorce decree would, such as child custody and support, property division, and spousal support. The difference is that the marriage is not legally terminated. Common reasons to opt for legal separation include: the desire to stay married for religious or personal reasons; the need to stay on a spouse's health insurance or other benefits policy; the temporary inability to legally divorce in Ohio because you have not lived here for 6 months; and, the need to formally finalize some issues while a divorce is pending.

Which of these options to choose, based on your own concerns, can be a difficult decision. Moreover, the different processes have their own complications; and each requires its own set of legal knowledge and strategies.

Annulment is relatively rare. Legal separation may be a good option for you if you have the specific concerns mentioned above. Between divorce and dissolution, dissolution is by definition usually easier because the spouses agree upon and set forth terms of ending the marriage, so the court need not take up time and resources to ensure a fair resolution. Many divorcing couples prefer to find attorneys who stress mediation and collaboration as a first step instead of jumping to litigation; this can be easier on your heart and your wallet. On the other hand, if you are concerned that your divorce will end in litigation — and you need a fighter in the court room — you should express this to your prospective attorney to be sure they understand your concerns and have the skills to advocate for you, come what may.

Overall, any lawyer you consult should be versed in these options and particularly experienced in the approaches you think may best fit your needs.

2. Good Reputation

An attorney who is comfortable and competent in the area of divorce is absolutely critical. This is because an experienced attorney can give you the thoughtful guidance and insight that you need to make decisions about your unique situation. A great divorce attorney will be able to weave together a plan based on all the facts you give them and will be able to adapt quickly to hurdles that stand in the way. Divorce can be fraught with peril, so you need an attorney who is tuned into what the potential problems could be in order to head them off.

Reputation speaks volumes about an attorney, and you should do your homework on attorneys you're considering. Look at their firm website and read their professional bio. Check out third party review sites like Avvo for the best Columbus divorce attorneys.

3. Compassion and Dedication

Divorce is a sensitive life experience. The legal factors are directly intertwined with emotional factors. Divorce impacts not only spouses but children and extended family, and a good attorney knows that it is important to understand the people who are involved in the divorce. Being cognizant of what the family is going through is not only professional, but helps the attorney be a better legal representative. It takes both savvy and compassion to know what would best help the client, whether it be cutting down legal fighting, saving the family home, obtaining certain assets, recommending other types of professionals such as family therapists, and/or structuring custody in a certain way. Once a path is determined, a great divorce attorney will fight for you every step of the way. Find an attorney who can use both legal and human skills to obtain the outcome you need for you and your children.

What if I Need a Divorce Attorney for Delaware Court of Common Pleas?

You may wonder, when your divorce is taking place in an Ohio court outside the city of Columbus, do you specifically need, for example, a divorce attorney for the Delaware Court of Common Pleas? The answer is: yes and no. Yes because finding an attorney who is familiar with your specific local court is a must. No because the attorney doesn't need to be located right in that locality to be a great fit for you. The attorney just needs to be licensed in, and comfortable with, the jurisdiction. Any attorney licensed in the State of Ohio can practice in Ohio's local courts. And many Columbus divorce attorneys practice regularly throughout the area, including courts in Delaware, Marysville, Newark, Lancaster, Circleville, London, etc.

Wolfe Legal Services provides family law professional legal services across Ohio including Columbus, Franklin County, and Delaware County. Each client is important to us, and we take pride in making sure we understand each client's unique situation. Contact us today at (614) 263-5297 or fill out our online form today.

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