Does an Acknowledgement of Paternity Mean a Child is Legitimated?

No, the acknowledgement of paternity form does not mean a child is legitimated under Georgia law. Unwed parents often mistakenly believe that the father gains custodial rights to the child by signing the acknowledgement of paternity and having the father’s name included on the birth certificate. By itself, an acknowledgement of paternity does not entitle the father to visitation, custody or rights of inheritance from or to the child. Those rights must be established by the filing of the petition for legitimation with the court.

What this means is that only the mother is considered the legal parent until the father starts the legitimation process and petitions the court to establish his custodial rights to the child. This is the case where the acknowledgement of paternity form is signed at the hospital when the child is born. Without going through the legitimation process the father has no visitation rights, no physical custody rights and no legal custody rights.

Without filing a legitimation action, the father has no legal rights to the child where the parties were not married when the child was born or did not subsequently marry shortly after the birth of the child. This is still the case even though the child is now in the father’s care.

If you need a Family Law Attorney, give Dreyer Law a call today to discuss your legal needs. Our office number is 770-253-7256.

Georgia Divorce Questions and Answers

Finding answers for common questions related to divorce in the state of Georgia can be difficult to acquire online. And, when something is found, the results can sometimes be just as difficult to understand. Below, we have answered the most common questions we are asked daily.  

What are the grounds for divorce in Georgia? 

In Georgia, a divorce can be granted based on the fact the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no hope for reconciliation by the two parties. This no-fault ground is the most common ground for divorce in Georgia. 

A fault ground for divorce does not have to be alleged. 

There are 12 fault grounds for divorce in Georgia. Those fault grounds for divorce are as follows: 

  • Adultery 
  • Desertion 
  • Conviction of either party of an offense involving moral turpitude and imprisonment for 2 or more years 
  • Habitual intoxication 
  • Habitual drug intoxication 
  • Cruel treatment 
  • Incurable mental illness 
  • Pregnancy of wife by man other than the husband of wife 
  • Force, duress or fraud in obtaining marriage 
  • Intermarriage by persons within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity 
  • Mental incapacity at time of marriage 
  • Impotency 

How long does it take to get a divorce in Georgia? 

The length of time it takes to get a divorce varies. It depends on the complexity of your case, whether there are children involved, whether the case is uncontested or contested, etc. 

Uncontested cases: An uncontested divorce may be granted thirty days after the defendant has been served with the complaint for divorce. Uncontested cases are cases in which both parties agree and there are no disagreements as to any issues. 

Contested cases: Cases where the parties cannot come to an agreement regarding the major issues in a divorce such as child custody or the division of marital property. These cases can take much longer to resolve and may involve going to trial. 

Additionally, each party’s approach toward the case (cooperative, difficult, getting back at the opposing party, etc.) always influences the time it takes for a case to be resolved. 

Do I have to go to court to get divorced? 

In uncontested cases, meaning a case that has been settled between the parties through agreement – a divorce is granted after all the necessary paperwork is filed with the court. One party may be required to go to court and testify that the marriage is irretrievably broken with no hope for reconciliation. In some cases, you can present a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and no court appearance is necessary. 

In contested cases, a divorce would only be granted following a trial or hearing where the parties cannot settle the case between themselves. Both parties must be present for hearings and trials in contested divorce cases. 

Do I need an attorney to get a divorce? 

Yes, having an attorney to handle your divorce is always a good idea. Divorces can be complex, especially when issues involving child custody, child support and marital property division come up. Attorneys are trained in the law and know the proper procedures in a divorce such as what documents need to be filed, where those documents need to be filed, how to serve the other party and so forth. 

Many people may feel they cannot afford to hire an attorney and try to represent themselves. However, this is usually a mistake as it may be hard to undo any mistakes that have already occurred. 

Can I change my name back to my maiden name? 

Yes. Your attorney will ask whether you want your maiden name restored and will include the appropriate language in the Final Divorce Decree, restoring your maiden name. 

Am I legally separated once the divorce is filed? 

In order to file for a divorce, you must state that you are in a state of separation. In Georgia, separation simply means the parties no longer engage in marital activities and relations. The two parties can be separated even if they reside in the same house but do not share the same room. 

In Georgia, legal separations are not recognized as an end to a marriage. The parties must go through the divorce process in order to end the marriage. 

Can I get an annulment? 

Annulments are rarely used. Generally, the only basis for an annulment is an allegation of fraud or where one party thought they were divorced at the time of the new marriage but then found out their divorce was either not final or valid. 

Where do I file for divorce in Georgia? 

Generally, a divorce is filed in the county where the defendant lives. The divorce complaint and supporting documents are filed with the Clerk of Superior Court in the county where the defendant lives. There is a specific exception to this requirement that allows you to file in the county of the marital residence if the other party has not relocated from that county more than six (6) months before filing. 

When can I file for divorce? 

You must have lived in Georgia for at least six months prior to filing a divorce action. 

How much does a divorce cost? 

Costs vary depending on the complexity of the case, whether there are children involved and whether the case is uncontested versus contested. There is no way to predict the total cost of a divorce. 

Can I get alimony? 

You may be entitled to alimony or spousal support depending on the circumstances of your case. 

Alimony is awarded to either spouse according to: 

  • Needs of the spouse requesting alimony, and 
  • Ability of the other spouse to pay 

Will I have to pay alimony? 

The main controlling factors in determining the amount of permanent alimony or spousal support are the needs of the spouse requesting alimony and the other spouse’s ability to pay. Whether you must pay alimony will depend on the circumstances of your case. 

What if my spouse does not want a divorce? 

All it takes is for one party to want a divorce in Georgia. In Georgia, a divorce can be granted if one party testifies that the marriage is irretrievably broken with no hope for reconciliation. 

Do issues such as child support, child custody, alimony, and property need to be decided before the divorce is final? 

Yes, issues of child support, child custody, alimony or spousal support and marital property division must be decided before the divorce is finalized. The parties can come to an agreement as to those issues or the parties can request a bench trial or jury trial and let the fact finder decide those issues. 

At what point during the divorce process can a spouse remarry or start dating? 

Only after the case is finalized and all the paperwork is signed by a judge and filed in the Clerk’s office. If you start dating before the divorce is finalized that may be used as a factor when determining awards of alimony, spousal support, child custody and visitation. Although the decision to date or remarry is entirely personal, you may want to rethink getting into another relationship so quickly after a divorce. 

Contact Dreyer Law at 770-253-7256 if you are currently considering divorce or need divorce help. Mr. Dreyer handles all aspects of divorce throughout Coweta County.  

Divorce During the Holidays

It is not uncommon for a person or couple to decide to divorce around the holidays. Many do choose to wait until after the new year to file, which is why there are typically a lot more divorce petitions filed in January. However, if you have decided to proceed with the divorce during the holiday season, there are some things you should consider. Consider the following steps:

Consult an Attorney

If you and your spouse have spoken about divorce, the most important next step to take is to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer about your situation. Try not to wait until after the holidays to begin the process of finding and consulting with prospective divorce lawyers. There are a few reasons for this. First, you may not know if your spouse has already sought legal counsel or is in the process. Second, an attorney can identify issues that you may not have had on your radar and will provide advice, support, and relief that will help you better enjoy your holidays.

Gather The Needed Information

The sooner your divorce attorney has all the relevant documents and financial records they need to begin your case, the sooner they can begin working towards implementing strategies to resolve your case favorably. It is a good idea to complete this step as soon as possible – you will find that it will be easier to enjoy the holidays knowing that you have already taken care of it. You may also have time off that allows you to focus on getting this done.

Keep The Process Away from the Children

Children look forward to the holidays because it brings together family, traditions, and happy memories. If you are initiating divorce during this time, it is your decision whether to tell them about the divorce or to wait. Either way, try to keep any issues or arguments involving the divorce between you, your spouse, and your attorney to allow your children to experience the holiday without stress or conflict.

If you are thinking of filing for divorce, contact Dreyer Law for the legal guidance and emotional support you need to get through this time. Backed by decades of experience, our firm is recognized as one of the most respected divorce and family law firms in Coweta County.

Financial Planning Tips for Life After Divorce

Getting a divorce is accompanied by mixed emotions. There can be disappointment and sadness, but there can also be a sense of tremendous expectation for what is next. A common response to the dissolution of marriage is fear of what divorce will mean financially. 

Divorce undoubtedly changes the economic landscape for both parties. Parting spouses can better maintain solid financial footing by following these tips. 

 Close Joint Accounts 

Many married couples share checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and other accounts. Keeping a joint account after a marital split is flirting with danger. An ex can run up the balance on a credit card or withdraw funds from bank accounts. You will be equally responsible for their conduct. 

You are not in the clear necessarily if you always maintained separate finances. Your former spouse might know your passwords and get access to your accounts. Change passwords to any individual accounts. 

 Calculate Living Expenses 

As a newly single person, you must have a firm handle on what you owe each month and to whom. Top-of-mind expenses are typically mortgage/rent, utilities, and food, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. 

Do not forget about debt obligations, the cost of health insurance, car insurance, pet food and care, gas and vehicle maintenance, gym memberships, pest control, yearly fees, organization dues, restaurant meals, clothing, streaming services, cell phone costs, emergency repairs, and gifts for special occasions. Include any costs related to children, if applicable (school, medical, clothing, food, etc.). 

Analyze All Sources of Income 

Your paycheck is most likely the primary source of income. The net income, not gross income, should be used in this calculation. Other sources of income include child support, spousal maintenance, disability benefits, pension income, trust or estate income, Social Security benefits, and veterans’ benefits. 

Determining from where your income is derived is the first step. You also want to know when you receive the funds (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.). 

Create A Budget and Follow It 

A full understanding of your expenses and income will enable you to create an accurate budget. You may find that you need to cut expenses. Needed changes could be small like giving up your morning coffee shop coffee or more significant like moving into a smaller apartment. 

The budgeting process is not punitive. In fact, budgeting can be empowering for a single person. You, and you alone, decide priorities and create your own healthy financial habits. The budget can help you determine whether you want to pursue a new job or more education or training. 

When possible, budget a percentage of your income into a rainy-day fund and investment account. 

Regularly Review Your Credit Report 

Reviewing your credit report can help you understand what lenders, potential employers, and others see. Your credit report can make you aware of joint accounts that you had forgotten about that need to be closed. You might spot errors in your report that need to be disputed. A review may also reveal bad actors using your identity to open fraudulent accounts. 

The credit report directly impacts your credit score. The higher the score, the more responsible you appear to potential property managers, employers, and lenders. A review of your credit report provides a roadmap for improvement. 

You can check your credit report annually for free. 

Update Your Estate Plan 

Post-divorce is an ideal time to update or create an estate plan. This process includes changing beneficiaries on life insurance policies, 401(k), IRA, and other accounts. In a living trust, scrutinize who is named as primary and contingent beneficiaries. Update your will. Include guardianship of minor children. Create a power of attorney for medical and financial decisions. 

Keep in mind that any change made to your estate plan or beneficiaries must be in accordance with your divorce decree. 

Effective Divorce Counsel Is the First Step in Financial Planning 

The best route to a less stressful single life is a divorce settlement that addresses the specific needs and goals of the parties involved. Give Dreyer Law a call today to schedule a consultation. Our office is here to help you with all family law matters.  

Questions a Divorce Attorney Will Ask

Without proper preparation, the first consultation with a divorce lawyer can be a daunting task. Divorce lawyers ask a series of questions about the marriage, family dynamics, finances, and other personal things. While it may feel invasive to answer some of these questions, the attorney is asking them for the sake of building a solid case. When getting ready for the first consultation with an attorney, it is wise to prepare ahead of time by compiling documents and information that will be useful in the case. Below are some of the basic divorce questions that attorneys usually ask clients during the initial consultation.

What Is the Reason for the Divorce?

Depending on the reasons for your divorce, your attorney may handle your case a little differently. For example, a divorce in which one spouse has been physically abused by the other spouse and has been issued a protective order may be handled much differently than a case in which both parties are splitting on amicable terms. Additionally, in situations where abuse or neglect is involved, this can have a big effect on who receives primary custody of any children from the marriage.

Do The Spouses Currently Live Together or Separately?

Your current living situation is relevant to your divorce case in several ways:

Your attorney will need to know if you and your spouse own a home, and if so whose name the title and mortgage are under; this will be necessary for division of property during the divorce proceedings.

Your attorney will want to know if you are still living in the same home as your spouse or if you have been living separately for any length of time.

If you have children, your attorney will want to know whom they have been living with and what their living arrangements have been.

Are There Minor Children?

If you and your spouse have children, your divorce attorney will need to know this, especially if they are under the age of 18. During a divorce, you and your spouse will need to come to an agreement on custody and support payments for dependent children. The earlier your attorney knows about your children and your relationship with them, the earlier they can begin to factor that into your divorce arrangements.

Does Either Spouse Own Property That Is Not Considered “Marital”?

Any property that is not owned by both you and your spouse is something that should be protected during the divorce and division of assets. However, your attorney will need to know ahead of time what properties fall into this category so that they can fight to protect your personal assets.

How Much Do Both Spouses Earn?

One of the most important details to share with your divorce lawyer is how much you and/or your spouse make. Spousal support or alimony and child support are often directly related to both spouses’ financial standing and earning capacity. For example, if one spouse was a stay-at-home parent for the children and was unable to go out and develop their skills in the workplace, they may be entitled to some form of spousal support until they are able to get a job that allows them to support themselves. In addition to income information, your attorney will also need to know whether you or your spouse have any outstanding debts.

Has The Other Spouse Hired a Lawyer?

If your spouse has also hired a lawyer to represent them, your attorney will need to know the name of their attorney so that they can be in contact with them when you enter the mediation phase. By providing this information early on you can ensure that you and your attorney are prepared and ready to discuss your divorce terms with your spouse’s legal team.

What Are the Specific Goals & Priorities for the Divorce?

Going into a divorce, everyone has specific goals in mind for what they are willing to negotiate about and what things they are not willing to negotiate. If you can convey your priorities to your attorney during your first meeting, they will know best how to represent you and fight for your best interests during the divorce. Be very clear with your attorney about what things are the most important to you, whether it is the house, child custody, or something else.

Should I Tell My Divorce Lawyer Everything?

While it may be tempting to avoid some details or represent yourself to them in a better light, the more honest you are with your attorney the better they will be able to help you. If there is any information that you think your spouse could use against you in court (infidelity, abuse, etc.), you need to let your divorce attorney know as soon as possible. This gives your legal team time to prepare if any unflattering information comes up in court and gives them time to figure out a solution.

If you are looking for a great divorce attorney, give Dreyer Law a call today to set up a free consultation.

Potential Adoption Roadblocks

Whether voluntary or involuntary, a parent’s rights must be terminated before their child can be adopted. Adoptive parents will tell you that there are many potential roadblocks you can encounter along the way, so it is advised that you retain a skilled adoption lawyer. 

Below are some factors that could present difficulties on your road to adoption. 


In Georgia, you can adopt if you are at least 21 years of age or married and living with his/her spouse or be at least 10 years older than the child, except when the individual is a stepparent or relative of the child. 

Financial Situation 

Judges base adoption decisions on the best interests of the child. Part of that is being able to supply the child’s basic needs. Whether you have a high or low income, the judge will consider whether your financial situation can support the addition of a child to your family. 

Marital Status 

Both married and single people can adopt in the state of Georgia. However, if you have had previous marriages and divorces, the judge may consider this as a factor. A judge will not knowingly place a child in a dysfunctional family unit, whether the parents are married or single. 


Do you have the job and salary to sustain raising a child? It does not matter if you work part time, full time, from home, or from an office – as long as the prospective parent(s) is gainfully employed. 


In Georgia, it does not matter whether you rent or you own. In some adoption cases, a social worker may come and observe you to determine if your home is suitable for the child. A potential roadblock would be if you are in between homes, your residence is in a less than ideal location, or the state of your home is unsafe for children. 

Legal Parent’s Consent 

If the legal parent denies consent, you will have a difficult time adopting. Without the legal/biological parent’s consent, parental rights cannot be terminated unless the state has reason to step in and terminate their parental rights. 

In Georgia cases, attention to detail is crucial. You need to retain an attorney that will leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of your best possible outcome. To learn more about Dreyer Law’s adoption services, contact our team to schedule a consultation. 

Things to Consider Before a Divorce

Filing for divorce is a serious decision not to be made lightly, so before you take the plunge, there are a few things you should think about before you act. For example, you might want to find a counselor for your children or consult with a financial planner or accountant to make appropriate plans for your future. Whatever your situation, make sure you fully consider your options before you begin the divorce process.

Is a Legal Separation a Better Option?

Divorce is not the best option for everyone, especially if you and your spouse harbor hope of reconciling your differences over time. Spouses may choose to legally separate their finances and property so that they can live apart without fully dissolving the marriage. Sometimes, this time apart saves marriages. In other cases, it acts as a precursor to divorce. Whatever the outcome, it can be beneficial to explore this option.

Also, there are other reasons that couples may wish to choose legal separation over divorce that do not include reconciliation. If you rely on your spouse for health insurance, remaining married could help ensure you receive those medical benefits. Some people also choose legal separation for religious purposes, or other personal preferences.

Gather Important Documents

If you wish to move forward with a divorce, you must still think about what you should do before the process officially begins. A divorce is more than just an emotional decision; it is a legal dissolution of a marriage, and often requires a substantial amount of time, effort, and money. To get a leg up in the process, begin gathering relevant documents as soon as possible. Make copies of tax statements, income statements, bank statements, property deeds, marriage licenses, birth certificates, account documents, investments, retirement funds, and other important files. Discuss with a divorce attorney what you will need to prepare for your divorce.

Make a Financial Plan

The divorce process can be expensive, so before you get the ball rolling, think about how you will afford it. Hiring an attorney will often help you become more financially stable after the divorce, but you do need to consider how you will afford the legal fees.

You should also think about how your daily expenses might change once the divorce begins. If you stay in the marital home, will you be responsible for the mortgage? Or, if you move out, are you able to afford rent, food, and other daily expenses on your income alone? Also, if you are a stay-at-home spouse, you might not be able to afford to live independently without receiving support. In that case, you can ask for temporary spousal support to help pay for living expenses and essentials during the divorce process.

In any case, look over your expenses, your income, and your savings to determine what you can afford once the divorce begins. Many people also rely on their families for financial assistance when facing a divorce. Make a budget and plan for any essential expenditures, including those pertaining to your children, your health, your car, and other crucial things.

How Can You Make This Easier for Your Kids?

If you have minor children, you need to think about how your divorce will impact your children and what you can do to prepare them before the process begins. Children are sensitive to change and may express their feelings about your divorce in a variety of ways. Feelings of anger, frustration, confusion, sadness, guilt, and fear are all common, but they need to be dealt with in a healthy way. Consider how you and your spouse will tell them about the divorce, how you will encourage their communication and what type of plan you will make for custody. Also, think about whether taking your kids to a counselor might be a good option.

Each divorce is different, which is why it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced family lawyer before you make any big decisions. If you are thinking about getting a divorce, Dreyer Law can help. We are here to help you navigate your divorce from beginning to end. Give us a call today to set up a free consultation.

Contempt of Court in Family Law Cases

When an ex violates court orders, filing a motion for contempt is a legal option to carefully consider. Contempt is a severe legal remedy that can be used when a person intentionally disobeys a court order. When it comes to family law cases, judges generally do not want to find someone in contempt unless there is a serious violation of a restraining order, or one party fails to act in court-ordered manners like child support or spousal maintenance.

Common examples of contempt in family law cases include:

  • A parent refuses to allow the other parent access to court-ordered visitation
  • A parent refuses to return the child to the other parent after visitation
  • A parent fails to make reasonable efforts to require a child to attend court-ordered visitation with the other parent
  • An ex-spouse refuses to deliver property to the other spouse as ordered by the divorce or settlement agreement
  • A parent needs to enforce final child support orders from a court or administrative agency
  • A parent needs to enforce temporary family law orders and restraining orders

What Actions Can a Judge Take If the Court Finds Contempt?

A judge can order the party in contempt to complete the following tasks consequently for violating the court order:

  • Attend counseling
  • Complete parenting classes
  • Look for work a certain number of hours a week
  • Attend future hearings to check if they are obeying the order
  • Payment of attorney fees made necessary by the contempt

If one parent violates the parenting plan, the judge can also order:

  • The parent that missed visitation time get make-up residential time with the children
  • Expensive fines
  • Harsher penalties for subsequent violations

The ultimate sanction for contempt:

If warranted, a judge can remand a person to the custody of the sheriff until a specific remedy is provided such as paying back child support or alimony.

Proving Contempt in Court

To establish contempt in a family law case, you must prove there is a valid court order in effect, the other person was aware of the court order, and the facts of your case show a clear willful violation of the order. You must also prove you have given the other person notice of the contempt hearing, an opportunity to state their case, and that contempt is an appropriate remedy for the violation.

When it comes to contempt for a parenting plan violation, you also must prove that ONE of the following factors occurred.

  • The violation of the order was willful or in bad faith
  • The person who committed the violation of the parenting plan engaged in intentional misconduct
  • Previous court sanctions have not resulted in the person obeying the order

Alternatives To Contempt

One alternative to contempt is to send a demand letter to the other party via regular and certified mail. In your demand letter, you should explain each of the violations they committed and ask them to remedy them. Make sure you keep a copy of the letter for your own records. Sending a demand letter might lead to a solution to which both parties may be able to agree.

If the demand letter fails to lead to an agreed solution, sending one still shows the court that you are acting reasonable, that the other party is aware of the court’s order, and that you are unhappy with the other party’s actions.

Another alternative to contempt is filing a motion/petition to modify the court order. With this strategy, you are asking the judge to change the order instead of asking them to enforce the previous order.

When You Can Not Use Contempt in Family Law Cases

Contempt is not always an option in family law cases. You cannot use a contempt action to change custody of a child. Also, while the court can require that a certain payment is to be made, the court cannot specify that certain assets be sold to make the payment that is due.

Explore Options with Experienced Counsel

When an ex is not playing by the rules, they should be held accountable. However, filing for contempt is a complicated matter that should not be taken lightly. A skilled divorce attorney can help determine if this is an appropriate option and prepare you for what is to come.

Dreyer Law is here for all of your family law needs. To schedule a consultation with one of our skilled legal professionals, please call (770) 253-7256.

Preparing for Divorce in the New Year

With 2021 behind us, many people are setting goals and making resolutions for 2022. If divorce is one of the major changes being considered this year, then there are several steps to take to prepare for the legal process ahead. This is especially important for those who are not familiar with the finances of their household.

Financial Information

Sometimes a spouse will cut off the other from credit cards and even withdraw funds from joint accounts after they reveal they want to file for divorce. That is why it is important to collect financial statements for the past few years before having the divorce talk with your spouse. Important financial documents you will need for your divorce case include:

· Credit card statements

· Personal bank and investment statements

· Copies of tax returns for the last two years

· W2s, 1099s, 401(k), IRA, and pension statements

All of the documents listed above will be necessary to determine the value and existence of certain assets and the community estate.

Establish Your Own Finances

To avoid being cut off from funds, you should make sure you have a separate bank account with enough money to cover at least a month’s worth of expenses and the retainer fee for a divorce lawyer. You should also create a safe place to send and receive information for any new accounts you create. It is also a good idea to get in the habit of keeping receipts, recording transactions, and checking your bank account regularly to help you document expenses so you can come up with a realistic monthly budget for a single household.

Consult With A Divorce Lawyer

In addition to gathering and preparing the documents we have discussed so far, you should also consult with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer to learn more about your options and what to expect throughout the legal process. Although divorce cases are emotionally draining and time-consuming, meeting with an attorney to

discuss issues that may arise in advance can give you the confidence you need move on to the next chapter of your life.

Dreyer Law is here to help you with all of your family law needs in 2022. Give us a call today to set up a free consultation.

Five Things You Should Look for When Hiring a Divorce Attorney

A divorce can get complicated quickly. Once a couple decides to part ways, there are many decisions to be made. Unfortunately, emotions can sometimes get in the way of making sound decisions during a divorce. If children are involved, it gets even more complex. Not only will you be protecting your own interests, but you will be looking out for your children’s interest as well.

Choosing the right custody lawyer who will best represent you and your children throughout the entire divorce process may seem a little daunting. As you are carefully evaluating your divorce process, here are five things to look for to find a divorce attorney that will best represent your interests.


There are so many nuances involved when dealing with laws pertaining to divorces, custody rights, child support, and the division of assets. You need an attorney that is not only knowledgeable about the laws but who also knows how those laws are interpreted in your area. It is always a good idea to do some research on any potential attorney and ask plenty of questions.

  • Check out their reputation with your state’s Bar Association. If there are any past issues or disputes involving their practice, there will be records that you can view.
  • Look at their website. Check out their credentials and read their clients’ testimonials.
  • Do not be afraid to ask them for references from their past clients with whom you may be able to speak.
  • Ask them specific questions. Who gets the family home? How are the assets distributed? How is child support calculated? A competent attorney familiar with how the court system works in your area should be able to easily answer any of your questions.
  • Check out online reviews. There are plenty of websites that track and post reviews about attorneys, both positive and negative.


In many ways, both your financial and personal future are in the hands of your divorce attorney. Of course, you will not be the only case that your attorney is handling, but you want to make sure that they have the people and the resources to adequately take care of all of your needs. Clear, open communication is vital throughout the divorce proceedings.

Who else will you be working with throughout the divorce? There will likely be different assistants and paralegals handling some aspects. If so, is your potential attorney letting you know who they are and offering an introduction? Your divorce attorney should make this information readily available while they are representing their firm at your initial consultation.

How confident do you feel with the attorney’s ability to walk you through the divorce process? It all goes back to communication. You must be able to understand each other.

No Hidden Fees

Most people have a budget. This always needs to be a consideration when choosing the right divorce attorney for you. You will find that most reputable divorce attorneys who fully understand how the divorce laws are handled in courtrooms typically charge comparable rates.

Hourly rates and any other fees should be freely disclosed during the initial consultation. There should not be any hidden fees that arise later. They should also be very clear on how much the retainer agreement fee is and how the billing is handled.


An attorney’s professionalism matters in so many ways. They should make a good impression on you. You also want to think about the impression that they will be making in the courtroom.

Professionalism is not only appreciated and recognized in a courtroom setting, but a lack of it can also be detrimental to the outcome of the proceedings. Judges value and rely on an attorney’s ability to present their case expeditiously and professionally. And a huge part of deciding the final outcome of most divorce

proceedings comes down to the judge’s interpretation of your attorney’s presentation. Their professionalism can make or break you.

Trust Your Gut

In the end, trust your own intuition when choosing the best divorce attorney for you. You should speak to at least a couple of different lawyers, making careful observations and get a feel for who will best be able to represent both your financial and custodial interests. If, for any reason, you do not feel entirely comfortable and confident in their abilities, you should take it as a red flag that something’s just not right.

At Dreyer Law, we take pride in our ability to provide outstanding, comprehensive legal representation and personal attention to all of our clients. We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to protect the interests of you and your children throughout your divorce. If you are looking for a law firm that will fight for your rights, give us a call today.