Specialty Divorce Lawyers: No One-Size-Fits-All Here
Divorce lawyers are a dime a dozen. They are almost as common as divorce itself. Yet, there are some divorce lawyers who actually specialize in unique cases. Here are some of those specialty divorce lawyers and what they do.
Ex Parte/Missing Spouse Lawyers
Divorcing an estranged spouse or divorcing someone you have not seen in years takes a special kind of divorce lawyer. These lawyers specialize in cases like yours, where your spouse just vanished and never came back, you have not heard from him/her in years, and/or he/she is nowhere to be found in the U.S. These are often very difficult divorces to pursue because the courts may expect you to exhaust every avenue to serve your spouse with divorce papers. Your specialty lawyer can help expedite the case by proving your lack of contact and lack of knowledge regarding your spouse's whereabouts to the court.
Some of the strangest divorce cases involve spouses who went off to war or went to work in another country, on an oil rig, etc., and never returned. You know that he/she is probably deceased, since they cannot be found. However, the courts may not grant your divorce without a lengthy waiting period and a verifiable death certificate, which has to be issued by someone who can prove that your spouse is presumed dead. These cases may be even more difficult in family court because the presumption of death as grounds for divorce may take a very long time and is very hard to prove. Lawyers who specialize in these cases have some ways to help speed up the process.
Children can have legal representation in a divorce. Because they are minors, the law requires that their best interests be represented in court. In some states the lawyer is assigned by the courts and is referred to as a "guardian ad litem," while in other states the parents may choose a lawyer for their children and split the costs of the children's lawyer.
Elderly parents and relatives are at risk for abuse, and if these elderly parents reside with you, your parents or parents-in-law may have their own lawyers in your divorce case. This is especially true if you and your spouse have legal guardianship and there is a question that either of you may cause these older people harm during or after the divorce. This is a very complicated sort of situation, and one which is handled by divorce lawyers who double as family lawyers.