Divorce Lawyer: Job Outlook & Career Info

Divorce lawyers help to ensure fair and appropriate distribution of marital assets, as well as providing advice on the legal aspects of the divorce. Read ahead to find out what education you need to work in this field, as well as what the employment outlook and median salary is. An alternative career path is also presented.

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Career Definition of a Divorce Lawyer

A divorce lawyer is an attorney who specializes in the type of law that deals with the dissolution of a marriage. Many divorces are granted following mediation through the divorce lawyers for both parties and do not require a court appearance. Tasks usually completed by the divorce lawyer are advising and negotiating decisions related to child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division.

Educational and Licensing Requirements Bachelor's and J.D. degree required
Job Skills Strong written and verbal communication skills, detail-oriented, and good judgment
Median Salary (2015)* $115,820 (all lawyers)
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 6% (all lawyers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

A career in divorce law usually begins with a bachelor's degree followed by a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from an accredited law school. The budding divorce law attorney must then pass the state bar exams. Many states require additional experience in divorce law before the attorney can be considered certified to practice.

Skills Required

A attorney who specializes in divorce law often enjoys oral and written arguments. He or she will be skilled at investigating and reporting details. The responsibility for a fair and equitable divorce settlement will often rely on the divorce lawyer for each side.

Career and Economic Outlook

All types of legal careers are expected to grow at average rates, including divorce law. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment for lawyers will grow by 6% from 2014 through 2024. Earnings for divorce lawyers vary according to the type of practice and the location of the proceedings. The overall median salary of all lawyers was published as $115,820 by the BLS in May 2015.

Alternative Career Option

Individuals interested in divorce law and helping couples during the mediation process might consider an alternative career:

Arbitrator, Mediator and Conciliator

These career paths share some of the same duties as divorce lawyers, such as helping individuals settle their differences outside of the courtroom. Education paths vary and may include a law degree, a graduate program with emphasis in conflict resolution, law or public policy, or a specialized certificate program. A 9% job growth was projected for this group from 2014 to 2024, according to the BLS. The median salary for these professionals was $58,020 as of 2015.

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