If You're Looking for Divorce Lawyers, Las Vegas has Hundreds to Choose From. So Which One is Right for You?
The first thing to know about choosing one of the Las Vegas divorce attorneys
that's right for your case is that there is no one attorney who is the best divorce lawyer in Las Vegas. The best divorce attorney is the one who is best for you --- for your unique circumstances, your case facts, and the one that you feel most comfortable in representing you.
You must constantly balance what's at stake in your case with what you should pay for the appropriate legal representation. In this section we'll cover a few different scenarios. The first two fall under the general category of uncontested divorce.
If you have a short term marriage, no children, few assets and/or debts, and you and your spouse are both agreeable to the divorce terms, you may not need a skilled attorney at all. There is no point in paying a premium for legal services that you don't need. If this is your situation, you might want to consider one of the discount law firms that provide joint petition services. In essence, they just processes divorce paperwork for both you and your spouse and offer little legal guidance. An even less expensive option is representing yourself with the assistance of a paralegal firm that will help you fill out the necessary forms and advise you on the filing process and document filing fees. Using one of these services, you can generally expect to pay less than one thousand dollars for your entire divorce proceeding.
The next scenario is similar, but more involved in financial circumstances and possibly length of the marriage. You and your spouse are agreeable to the divorce terms, and there may be a minor child or children involved. In this case you should speak to a qualified Las Vegas divorce attorney, but not necessarily a high-powered one. The decisions made regarding child custody and child support will affect the lives of both spouses and your children for years to come. You can still have an uncontested divorce, but you will benefit from some legal advice regarding division of assets and debts and the best method to setup a parenting plan, appropriate child support payments, and child custody agreement. Unlike joint petitions where you represent yourself or have one Las Vegas divorce lawyer represent you and your spouse, both spouses will benefit from independent legal counsel in this form of an uncontested divorce. In general, the Las Vegas divorce attorneys that provide these services charge between one and two thousand dollars for uncontested divorce representation.
The next two scenarios involve contested divorce matters. In these cases you and your spouse are not agreeable to the terms of the divorce. Again it's important to consider what's at stake in your divorce case. If you have a contested divorce matter, the most important aspect is to keep your emotions in check as much as possible. Understandably you cannot control the emotions of your spouse, but the only result of an over-emotional contested divorce is that the case will take longer and cost more than it needs to.
In the first contested scenario we'll examine a short-term marriage, some financial holdings, and no children. In these types of cases a Las Vegas divorce attorney with some contested divorce experience may be able to adequately represent you. Since it's a short term marriage we'll assume that there is no claim for alimony, which is an area only an extremely skilled divorce lawyer in Las Vegas should be involved in. Financial holdings in this scenario generally involve one or two vehicles, modest cash bank balances, and real estate, if any, with a small amount of equity. The most important consideration is to add up the value of the assets and debts and understand that you are best served by keeping as much of the net balance as you can. Paying needless attorney's fees in a battle for limited financial gain is wasteful. You must constantly weigh the value of the net results against what it will cost in emotional stress and attorney's fees. This is often difficult in the "heat of the battle". A good Las Vegas divorce attorney will constantly remind you of this and advise you to proceed on a course of action that is in your best interests. You are best served by listening to this advice regardless of any gut emotional reaction. Las Vegas divorce attorneys qualified for these types of divorce cases generally charge in the range of $300-$400 per hour and are most interested in a negotiated settlement rather than trial resolution. The total legal fees associated with this type of contested divorce scenario will obviously vary, but in general run between ten and fifteen thousand dollars.
The last contested divorce scenario we'll examine is a combination of the most complex cases - one where there is a relatively long-term marriage, there are considerable assets, large cash balances, possibly a marital owned business, sophisticated financial instruments such as trusts, IRA's, 401Ks, real estate holdings, etc. These cases also often include a prenuptial and/or postnuptial agreement. More importantly, there also may be a minor child or children involved and you and your spouse cannot agree on all child related issues.
Keep in mind that just because a divorce begins as a contested matter, it doesn't exclude the case from a negotiated settlement. In fact, only a small fraction of contested divorce matters ever go to trial. This is not to be confused with the amount of work the Las Vegas divorce attorneys representing both spouses have to do in order to achieve the negotiated settlement.
In many long-term marriages there may be a valid claim for alimony. This is one of the most abstract and complex divorce issues and the results can vary widely from case to case depending on the knowledge, strategy, and tactics employed by Las Vegas alimony attorneys
. This is because there is no one mathematical formula used in Nevada to determine whether an alimony claim is valid and if so, what the payment amounts and terms should be.
The division of assets and debts in financially complex divorce matters also requires considerable legal experience from a contested divorce attorney in Las Vegas
. Often certain assets will require an appraisal. This is particularly true with real estate holdings and is generally a straight forward process. Intangible assets such as the goodwill of a business, patents, copyrights, stock options, the value of a celebrity name, etc. are much more challenging to appraise. This is not an area where you want to have your Las Vegas divorce attorney on a learning curve.
Contested child custody battles should be avoided whenever possible. Regardless of the differences between you and your spouse, barring significant parental malfeasance, the family courts want both parents to be actively involved with the upbringing of their minor children. In instances where it is impossible to avoid a custody battle, you'll want a Las Vegas divorce lawyer that understands the process and can properly prepare you for what it entails.
It should come as no surprise that Las Vegas divorce attorneys who most competently handle these types of complex divorce cases are rare, in high demand, and bill for their legal representation at rates between $450 and $600 per hour. In reality there are less than twenty-five divorce lawyers in Las Vegas that routinely and exclusively handle the most complex divorce matters. As a general rule, legal fees for these matters cost tens of thousands of dollars.
"I was very satisfied with my experience with Abrams Law Firm. Attorney Vincent Mayo did a great job handling my case. Attorney Mayo was attentive to my needs and made sure that my case was handled quickly. I would definitely recommend Attorney Mayo to anyone going through a divorce."
- Lindsay B.