A pro bono divorce attorney represents low-income people in divorce cases and does not charge a fee for his services. Pro bono is Latin meaning "for the good". The legal profession uses the term to refer to legal services provided at no charge to a client. A pro bono divorce attorney will handle all aspects of a divorce case for a client. The attorney will interview the client, counsel the client on the divorce process, prepare the petition for dissolution of marriage, ensure the proper division of property, ensure that child custody is properly determined, ensure that child support is properly calculated, and perform any other necessary services related to a divorce proceeding.
A divorce is a dissolution of marriage. Obtaining a divorce can be a complex task, especially when domestic violence is involved. A pro bono divorce attorney must know how to advise a client who is a victim of domestic violence or represent a client accused of domestic violence. If a lawyer represents a victim of domestic violence, the attorney often will file an emergency petition or motion for a protective order to help protect a client. In addition, a pro bono divorce attorney often ensures that a client receives referrals to agencies created to deal with these problems by providing counseling or emergency shelter.
A pro bono divorce attorney will perform all necessary actions to help a client get a divorce. This usually requires conducting an intake interview of a client to gather necessary information to prepare a divorce petition. If a pro bono divorce attorney learns that the opposing party is hiding assets, the attorney will conduct discovery to uncover the assets. Discovery is a process through which a party to a lawsuit is required to disclose information by responding to questions and providing copies of documents requested by the attorney for an opposing party. This ensures that a client will receive an equitable division of property and that child support is properly calculated.
While a divorce is pending, a pro bono divorce attorney will also file a motion to establish an interim order for support and custody of the children. An interim order is a temporary order that a court enters while the attorneys prepare the case for the court. The attorneys representing the parties will then have an opportunity to conduct discovery and perhaps reach a settlement of the issues relating to a divorce. If the attorneys cannot help their respective clients settle certain issues, then they will present those issues to the court. A pro bono divorce attorney will then introduce evidence to the court and make arguments to the judge in an effort to obtain a favorable ruling.