Role of the lawyer in divorce cases
The Lawyer is there to help and assist his client in the meanders of a situation where both material and emotional issues are involved. Beyond even drafting the documents necessary for the progress of your procedure, he must advise you on the arguments that are not good to say during the eventual preparation meetings for the convention or the orientation hearing. His advice is then all the more relevant as the procedure is conflictual, especially in case of an at-fault divorce. But even in an amicable divorce, words and exchanges are important.
The lawyer, an adviser tp prepare your divorce
The lawyer plays first of all an advisory role and guides you according to what you want.
He/she will explain to you from a legal point of view the stakes of the procedure, inform you of the possible difficulties or constraints that the chosen procedure may entail.
It helps you take a step back from the situation you find yourself in. It leads you to adopt a position that can be defended effectively before the family court judge. He must also be able to warn his client that his position may be untenable and that other choices are more judicious. Hence the importance of trust between you and your lawyer.
The lawyer, your representative in the divorce process
Once the choice of the divorce procedure has been determined, he becomes the representative of one of the spouses. Since the last reform of divorce by mutual consent, it is no longer possible for him/her to be the representative of one of the spouses représentant des deuxexcept in one case so rare that it statistically represents less than 1% of the cases.
The lawyer is in charge of drafting the various procedural documents: the petition for divorce, (and agreement between spouses for divorce by mutual consent), the summons and the conclusions presented to the judge (this is a written document in which the lawyer presents all his arguments to the judge). He also asks you for the supporting documents necessary to support your requests and the need for your procedure.
Finally, he assists you at the signing of the divorce agreement or during the hearing before the family court judge. In particular, he pleads in support of your claims in the event of a contentious divorce.
The lawyer’s role does not end with the pronouncement of the divorce. He is also in charge of transmitting the divorce judgment to the civil status department of your marriage town hall so that the mention of divorce is affixed in the margin of the civil status records (birth and marriage) of the spouses. To do this, the divorce must have become final.
In case of dispute, he can also assist you in an appeal or an appeal in cassation of the decision.
Lawyer and divorce: the necessary trust relationship with the client
You need to be frank with your lawyer (especially concerning your wrongs or the elements of your assets). If you conceal information from him or her and if it is mentioned by your spouse, he or she will not have been able to prepare a response, because he or she will not have been aware of it and possible unforeseen difficulties may arise…
Lawyers are subject to professional secrecy and can be disciplined by their Order and penalized if they do not respect it. You can therefore confide in him or her because he or she cannot reveal elements that you would not wish to reveal.
It is moreover in order to be able to best defend his client, that he asks you to communicate to him for the first appointment a certain number of parts and information.
From this first appointment, if it is a request for divorce for fault, he seeks to gather evidence. It is therefore important to prepare this interview carefully.
For a divorce by judicial mutual consent (the only case where he can present you both), he will check that you both agree to divorce and that you have agreed on all the points of the divorce (children, financial…).
You should also not hesitate to make a list of your questions so that you can ask him during this appointment.