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Some questions about divorce

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lilacs40 posted 2/14/2014 16:55 PM

How did you decide on your lawyer? Did you go to more than one? What are the best qualities to look for when choosing? Are all initial consultants free or does that depend on the lawyer?

One more question. We are way underwater on our home and would probably have to come up with about $50k if it were to sell in today's market. I know a lawyer probably wouldn't recommend it but is it possible to divorce and continue to live in the same house? I know that may be a dumb question but we REALLY can't afford to lose that much money (I guess no one can really).

scarednbroken posted 2/14/2014 17:03 PM

I have been to one. She had a lot of information and spent a lot of time with me. She also recommended I try a LCloser to my home county. I have calls into two others. I think the best thing as far as choosing is to find a good fit. Someone who agrees with your stance and has your best interests at heart.

Not all consults are free. I found a few that change $50 or more. But to stay competitive you can ask for them to waive it and they may.

As for your house situation? Could you still
Live with him??? I know I can't but my WH is abusive so there is no way. An in house separation even is daunting to me. You have to decide that on your own.

myowndystopia posted 2/14/2014 17:07 PM

I asked around for lawyer recommendations from friends and also my IC and a friend that is an IC gave me names. Some charged for consult, some gave a free 30 minute consult. I talked with 2 in their office and talked with 2 others by phone. The one I went with just felt right for me.

I do know one couple that is divorced and live in same house but that is something I personally could not do. It's bad enough just doing the in house separation!!!!!

ButterflyGirl posted 2/14/2014 18:33 PM

I consulted with quite a few lawyers before choosing my first one. Doing that has the added bonus of preventing them from representing your WH. And all of them were free or charged about $100 for the initial consult. That really does depend on the lawyer.. And their fees really are a negotiation. With my current lawyer, I negotiated and got him to take $50 off his hourly rate, to agree to give me back any retainer money I may have leftover, and to change his minute increments from 15 to 5. In case you didn't know, most lawyers will round the minutes they spend working on your case and charge you based on your hourly rate. Like if he makes a 5 minute phone call to you, at the 15 minute agreement, he would round it up to 15 minutes and charge you 1/4 of his hourly rate. And if he makes a 20 minute phone call, he would round it up to 30 minutes and charge you 1/2 his hourly wage. But at 5 minute increments, he won't be rounding up so much. This is definitely something you can ask the different lawyers about and see if they are willing to negotiate.

Unfortunately for me, the first lawyer I hired ended up being terrible for my situation. I initially like him because he was all about mediating and compromising, and I was willing to be like that in the divorce. What I didn't count on was my piece of shit STBX being completely unreasonable and trying to screw me at every turn. I needed a bulldog, and I had hired a puppy. Thankfully, on the recommendation of a friend, I now have a great lawyer who knows what he is dealing with and can fight for me instead of trying to get me to back down all the time. I think it was most important to me that my lawyer realize the kind of personality disordered, dickhead of a husband I have. You don't want someone overcharging you or getting you to fight unnecessarily, but you want someone who will fight for what you want.

As far as living together after the divorce, I don't think lawyers or the judge or anyone can tell you guys what to do, but I couldn't do it either. I would highly recommend one of you getting a roommate instead of continuing to live together. You need space and distance to heal and move on with your life.

one2ndchance posted 2/14/2014 18:39 PM

Some offer free consultations, others charge. You should ask their hourly rate as it can vary. Also inquire about the amount of experience they have handling your type of divorce.

Once you talk with them, you can kinda get a feeling of what they're like. Some may be very aggressive, others are a little more laid back. I think the most important thing is you should feel that your attorney is operating from a position of looking out protectively for your best interests. You should also feel that you are in control. Your lawyer should offer explanations, options, and advice. Then he/she should allow you to make your own decisions.

As far as the house goes, it wouldn't be smart to take that kind of hit to sell it. One of you should live in it, the other rent a small place.

debbysbaby posted 2/14/2014 19:31 PM

I would discuss with your lawyer the house situation. You might perhaps do a short sale or have to file bankruptcy. Unfortunately I had to file. Went from a credit rating of 750+ to shit. Slowly recovering. I don't recommend cohabitating. It would be very hard to heal and move on fully.

Gemini71 posted 2/14/2014 22:43 PM

We are doing a "Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure" or "Mortgage Release" with our bank. Basically, sign the house over to the bank, and they turn around and sell it to investors who flip it, or rent it, or whatever. In exchange the bank will write-off whatever shortage there is when they sell it. We'll have to claim that write-off as income on our taxes, but oh well. The advantage for the bank is that they don't have the legal expense of filing a foreclosure against us, or the uncertainty/delay of a short sale. Our credit ratings will take a hit, but not as much as a full foreclosure.

My BIL and his wife are also underwater on their mortgage and are moving out of state. They've found a realty company that will rent out their house for them at the same amount as their mortgage payment. Apparently, there are a lot of people who were foreclosed on that can afford rent, but can't be approved for a mortgage.

Just some options to check into.

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