You will often hear this question being asked. People that are getting divorced might think of the process as being straightforward, especially when they get along rather well with their spouse. After all, lawyers can be expensive and it is only natural to wonder whether hiring one is truly necessary.
The answer to the question is that it depends.
If you and your partner have a fairly small estate that you both agree on how to divide it and you don’t have an issue with completing judicial forms, you might not need to hire a lawyer. A lawyer might not also be necessary if you and your partner haven’t been married very long and acquired just personal property or if you entered into a prenuptial agreement that is uncontested.
If you and your partner agree on how to divide your property, it might still be necessary to hire a lawyer for the purposes of drafting. Assets such as retirement and pensions can require complex documents such as QDRO’s to ensure a change in the beneficiaries.
Vehicles that share a title also have to be transferred properly. If the couple has multiple real estate properties and/or debts, it can be rather tricky to divide all of this up. This is particularly true when there’s a business involved.
The same theory is applicable to parties that have children together. If each partner is great at both co-parenting and communicating, a lawyer might not be necessary to step in and provide advice. If you are unable to reach a consensus on visitation or the type of custody, an attorney can help advocate for your rights.
It is sometimes easier if there are older children who are capable of driving themselves back and forth and take care of their own extracurricular activities. Still, it is always advisable to take your agreement to an attorney that can advise you of anything that might have been overlooked or help you evaluate the long-term repercussions of the agreement. Parties sometimes only agree on custody issues for the current ages and needs of the children, but fail to craft a schedule capable of adapting to changing needs over time.
Is It Possible to Represent Me in My Divorce Case?
If you and your spouse don’t have a full agreement on every issue, it can be advisable to involve an attorney, and the sooner you do it, the better. While it can be expensive to hire a lawyer, doing that early in the process will ensure that your rights are advocated for without delay in the early stages of the divorce that tend to be most tumultuous.
Furthermore, the cost of hiring an attorney should be considered an investment into protecting your future financial wellbeing along with the best interest of your children. Hiring an attorney can also provide a rational voice and give you peace of mind during what can be one of the most stressful and emotional periods of your life.
A lawyer can help lift the burden of what you should file and when, keeping up with deadlines and court dates, along with offering you good advice. It will probably be your first divorce. A divorce attorney will have already been through hundreds of divorces. If you are going through such a major transition in life like divorce, it doesn’t hurt to seek a second opinion, and preferably one that’s confident and knowledgeable.