While every bride and groom enter into marriage hoping never to need a divorce, sometimes one is necessary. Divorces are emotionally draining and costly, and having a divorce lawyer you trust working for you is essential. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best divorce lawyers in Green Bay to help find a reliable advocate during the stressful process.
Despite divorce rates declining for over 10 years, 10.9 percent of adults in Wisconsin have been through a divorce. The state’s annual divorce rate is 2.4 per 1,000 residents, which is lower than the national rate of 3.2 per 1,000. Even with the declining rates, divorces are common enough that many attorneys make them their primary area of practice. Choosing the right one is crucial to a good outcome in your divorce.Getting a divorce in Green Bay
Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, meaning the party filing for divorce only needs to claim the marriage is irretrievably broken.
The most amicable divorces are uncontested, which is when the spouses agree on all terms. When both parties do not agree on everything but are amicable, mediation or collaboration are the next best options. Both methods use a third party to help bring the divorcing couple to a compromise but have a crucial difference.
Under mediation, a third party works with the parties involved to help reach a compromise on disputed issues. A mediator has no power to decide terms and may only make suggestions and help promote conversation and discussion. Either party may reject a proposal made by a mediator and proceed to litigation
With arbitration, the couple may attempt to reach a settlement, but an arbitrator has the power to make binding decisions. If the parties are unable to compromise, the arbitrator listens to both sides and make a ruling on disputed issues that cannot be rejected.
Divorce lawyers often attempt to settle disputed issues through negotiation, which avoids litigation and speeds up the divorce process. Settling a divorce in a trial is the most costly and time-consuming option, so it’s usually a last resort.
Custody agreements must be official when children are involved, even if the divorce is amicable.
Depending on the situation, divorcing parents may need a guardian ad litem, therapist or other professionals to protect the best interest of the children. When minor children are involved in the divorce, it’s essential to hire an attorney familiar with child custody and support agreements.
The cost of divorce attorneys in Green Bay
Most divorce lawyers charge hourly rates, and the average cost for a lawyer in Green Bay is $210 an hour. The amount of time attorneys spend on a case depends on the complexity of the divorce. If a divorce is highly contentious, requires dividing numerous high-value assets or involves minor children, the divorce is likely to take longer and cost more.
Divorce attorneys who charge flat rates set those rates based on similar criteria, such as the number of contested issues involved in the divorce. Some attorneys offer free initial consultations, though many may charge a consultation fee.
If your divorce is uncontested and you can file without using attorneys, court fees cost roughly $500. That’s a rare scenario, and it’s worth hiring a divorce lawyer to ensure all your loose ends are tied up and everything is filed correctly. Most divorces cost between $15,000 and $30,000, with most of that coming from legal fees.
Questions to ask a divorce attorney in Green Bay
When choosing your divorce lawyer, look for someone with experience in matters that affect your case, whether that involves a custody agreement, mediation or other nuances. Ask for recommendations from friends, relatives or professional acquaintances, including attorneys who work in other fields.
Before hiring a lawyer, create a short list of candidates and schedule initial consultations with each of them. Questions to ask during this first meeting include:
What is your hourly fee?
Do you require a retainer?
How much experience do you have with similar cases?
Do you have any areas of expertise or specialties?
What would your strategy be for my divorce?
What other expenses can I expect during the process?
How often can I expect updates on my case’s progress?
Use this time to see if the lawyer is compatible with you as well. It’s crucial you and your divorce lawyer get along and that you trust them. Divorce is a trying time, and you want someone you feel comfortable with representing you and protecting your interests.
Simon Law Firm
With more ten years of proven results, Simon Law Firm has gained a reputation that results in more than half its clients coming from referrals. The firm offers a free consultation to help you determine your course of action. Reviews from Green Bay clients say the firm’s attorneys are excellent communicators and responsive through the process.
Sterling Law Offices
Sterling Law Offices exclusively practices family law and offers a wide range of family law services. The firm features fixed price billing instead of charging hourly legal fees. Previous Green Bay clients say the firm’s attorneys are easy to talk to and very communicative.
Adolph Legal uses a collaborative approach to handle every case, meaning you have a team of legal experts on your side. The firm is well-versed in many types of family law in both adversarial and non-adversarial approaches. Green Bay clients appreciate the attorneys’ straightforward approach and professionalism.