If you are going through a divorce or considering a divorce, then you are probably familiar with divorce lawyers. However, you might not be totally familiar with all of the services they provide. Here are some parts of the divorce process that you need to think about and that a divorce lawyer can help with:

Legitimacy of the Divorce

If you are filing the divorce, then you will need to have a legitimate reason. This can range from irreconcilable differences to domestic violence to adultery, but the allowed criteria can actually change from state to state and country to country. Therefore, you should hire a divorce attorney before you actually file for divorce. They can help you determine what the legal grounds for your divorce are, so that the process can go smoothly.

Division of Property

Another important aspect of divorce is the division of property. In many cases, this is the longest part of the divorce, since it requires a fairly thorough and lengthy process. All of the possessions of both parties must be inventoried, evaluated, and then the two parties will negotiate. It is fairly common for possessions to be split roughly evenly between the two parties, but some circumstances demand otherwise.

If a prenuptial agreement was signed before the marriage, then the terms in that agreement will probably be upheld. However, you probably don't have to worry about a prenup because the chances are pretty low that you got one, since prenups are so rare.

If a parent is assigned sole custody of the child, then the division of property might reflect that. Since the parent with sole custody will need to directly provide for the child, while the other parent will not, the custodian of the child may be given a larger portion of the total property.

Child Custody

If there are children involved, then divorce can become a much messier and more hostile endeavor. However, this does not need to be the case. In many divorces, custody is split evenly between the parents with alternating periods of custody. In other cases, custody is given exclusively to one parent, either voluntarily or at the behest of the court. If the custody is uneven, then the parent who is not the primary caretaker will likely have to pay child support to the primary caretaker.

Child support is not always ordered by the court, such as when both parties make relatively equal amounts of money and have joint custody. 

Contact a local lawyer, like the Law Office of Kristine A. Michael, P.C., if you have questions.