Marrying someone from overseas can be an exciting and romantic venture. Divorcing them can be a distressing and frustrating one. When language barriers come into play, the process can become even more stressful.
As such, if you’re divorcing someone who speaks a different first language than you, relying on professional support from legal translation services is highly recommended.
The importance of legal translation when divorcing a foreigner.
Legal translation has a huge range of uses. In the case of divorcing couples, legal documents translation can range from divorce certificates to papers relating to the custody of any children. It is important that both partners have such papers in their native tongue in order that they can fully understand (and comply with) them.
It’s essential to use a well-reputed legal translation service for your divorce document translation. A minor typo could have important and unwanted repercussions, so accuracy is paramount. It can also be a good idea to opt for certified translation services when it comes to documents like divorce certificates.
These services provide a certificate of translation to prove the authenticity of the translated document, which is often required when dealing with government departments, including immigration services. If you don’t know how to certify a legal translation document, don’t worry – all you need to do is ask your chosen translation company to certify it as part of the translation process.
Finding the right legal translation service
If you’re in need of a decent legal translation service, don’t just Google ‘translation services near me’ or ‘document translation services near me’ and hope for the best. Put in the time it takes to find out which companies have the best reviews and which provide the best customer service – don’t just opt for the first company you find!
Document translation services can vary widely in their performance, so a small investment of your time upfront is important in ensuring you have the peace of mind of knowing you are using a well-established and reputable service.
After all, a misunderstanding over finances or access to children could create a very painful post-divorce situation, which the use of a certified legal translator could prevent.
How much does the translation of divorce paperwork cost?
Once you’ve found a document translator that you are happy with, discuss pricing and timescales up front to ensure that you have all the information you need. It’s also a good idea to share with the translator any details that they will need in relation to your divorce proceedings. As with any type of translation, the more information the translator has as background to the work, the better.
The cost of translating your divorce certificate and other legal papers relating to the divorce will vary based on the length of those papers and the languages that you need. Most translators charge per word, so you should very quickly be able to establish the price for the translation of your legal documents.
One thing to check here is whether the charge per word relates to the original language or the language that the document is being translated into. Different languages use different numbers of words to say the same thing, so this can have a surprising impact on price. Usually, professional translators charge based on the word count of the original document, but it doesn’t hurt to clarify this beforehand.
How to find a qualified legal translator
If you’re ready to appoint a translator, you have two choices ahead of you: using a translation agency or opting for a freelancer. In either case, you need to assure yourself of the translator’s legal background and experience. Using an agency brings the benefits of a customer service team, often 24/7 service and a bank of translators to fall back on should your assigned one fall ill. Using a freelancer has the advantage that it can often (but not always) prove more cost-effective.
If you plan to use an agency, ask friends for recommendations and read online reviews thoroughly. If you prefer to use a freelancer, go through a freelancing site such as Upwork in order to find someone with established credentials, an easy payment structure and plenty of recent, positive feedback.
The need for divorce paper translation
The level of demand for divorce paper translation has dropped in recent years in the US, in line with the country’s declining divorce rate. Between 2008 and 2016 (the most recent year for which figures are available), the divorce rate dropped by 18%, to just 3.2 divorces per 1,000 people. Even accounting for demographic changes, such as people getting married later in life, there are still fewer divorces nowadays, according to this article from Good Housekeeping.
While perhaps not the best news for divorce lawyers and those who make their living translating divorce papers, it is interesting to monitor the shifting pattern in order to understand the bigger picture of divorce rates in the US.
Ofer Tirosh is CEO of Tomedes, a language company that provides legal translation and interpretation services for clients around the world.
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