Seattle Filter: Name of Divorce Attorney
June 17, 2018 8:51 PM   Subscribe

A friend has reached the point of filing for divorce. Because of a lot of previous mess, we would really like to see her do this with an attorney, and are willing to pick up the tab, since she's basically broke.

Friend is 45 year old displaced homemaker who has gotten training, certification, and jobs working with disabled adults. She has been getting health care coverage through her husband's work, but now will be able to get it on her own through her work. Husband, VERY high paid techie, doesn't want to get divorced until he has filed for bankruptcy. (My estimated date of such a filing: the 12th of Never) He now lives in London. Or maybe Estonia.

We really think she needs a lawyer, and not more turbulence. Lawyer needs to be a feminist (woman or man); and we're hoping for maybe a sliding scale.

Any references to lawyers, or law clinics, that you know are solid would be much appreciated.
posted by kestralwing to Law & Government (3 answers total)
Can't help with recs, but I will note that the richer spouse can be compelled to pay for the poorer spouse's lawyer, in some circumstances. This is generally more common in cases where one spouse was unemployed, but can be done in Washington State for income disparities.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:48 AM on June 18, 2018

You want someone with many high ratings - like a 10 rating and 50 reviews or more. Another search resource. You/she can specify requirements when you set up appointment; the office staff should know who will fit the bill. FWIW I would recommend meeting with at least 2 if not 3, or having phone calls at a minimum, before deciding. Personality has a lot to do with it as well as legal competence. She should write basic facts in an email first (easily researched online in terms of what they'll want to know). It may cost $100 or so for the phone calls/initial consults, but it's worth it in the long term.

There is no reason this needs to cost a lot, but if he fights it, it will. She can, of course, being the economically disadvantaged party, make a claim for legal fees if he does. WA is a community property state, and if she hasn't worked for years, or has earned substantially less, she could request spousal support. Decisions about employment, health insurance, leaving a joint residence, etc. should all be made under advice of counsel. She will be eligible to recieve part of his retirement savings if any, as well. So it's not just hire a cheap lawyer; it's hire a good, well qualified one. They will likely want a retainer, but it's not always a huge sum.

This will be substantially more difficult if he is overseas/has removed assets from the country.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 8:53 AM on June 18, 2018

Sent you a memail.
posted by purple_bird at 9:12 AM on June 18, 2018

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