What Does a Divorce Lawyer Do?

The law practice of a divorce attorney primarily centers on representing clients who are contemplating dissolving their marriages. Depending on the type of case and its complexity, there is a wide variety of tasks that a divorce lawyer may perform such as helping to divide assets, settle spousal and child support issues, and making child custody arrangements. Because of the high emotions and personal issues involved in divorce cases, divorce law can be a difficult and emotionally taxing area of practice.

So what does a divorce attorney do? Well, the divorce lawyer job description typically involves spending the workday communicating with the client, drafting documents, consulting with other professionals, and going to court.

A divorce lawyer spends a great deal of time communicating with clients to illicit information about the case for motions and other paperwork that he or she has to then draft and file. In addition, the attorney must discuss the results of hearings and strategize about the next steps in the case. Because of the emotions involved in divorce cases, communications with clients are often quite protracted, requiring divorce attorneys to become adept at scheduling and managing client meetings. Such meetings can take place in person or over the telephone.

Divorce attorneys are constantly drafting documents for their cases, including correspondence to clients or opposing counsel, motions such as temporary motions related to custody, child support and occupancy of the marital home. They also are required to draft replies to motions and other paperwork filed by the opposing attorney.

Consulting with other professionals can be an essential element of a divorce case, particularly if the case is complex. On any given day, a divorce lawyer may have meetings with psychologists, social workers, accountants and other attorneys.

Even straightforward, uncomplicated divorces may require the divorce attorney to spend time in court. Divorce attorneys have to prepare for each court appearance by both communicating with the client and other professionals and also by spending time preparing what he or she will say to the court.

Law students contemplating becoming divorce attorneys should expect to work in fast-paced, challenging work environments. Being a good listener and having the ability to empathize will help deal with emotionally charged divorce cases. To help prepare for a career as a divorce attorney, law students should take elective classes such as Family Law and other classes related to divorce, marital property, mediation, and custody.

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