The Case For Hiring a Family Law Attorney

Do Litigants Need a Divorce Lawyer in Florida? The Case For Hiring a Family Law Attorney

Before representing oneself "pro se", or prior to engaging in the process of hiring an attorney, many spouses will ask him/herself, "do I need a divorce lawyer in Florida?" This is the million-dollar (figuratively and possibly literally) question. Commonly, many people prefer to avoid hiring an attorney and instead choose to utilize all self-help resources available to pro se litigants. For those that are on the proverbial fence, below is a non-exhaustive list of reasons many petitioners and respondents alike choose to hire a Florida divorce attorney when going through a divorce in a Florida family law court:

  1. Perhaps the other spouse has hired an attorney and the pro se litigant feels disadvantaged without his/her own legal counsel;
  2. The pleadings/forms used when filing for divorce are difficult to fill out, and there are few people that are available to provide the instructions necessary without being paid a fee;
  3. The divorce process is a legal process, and those that know courtroom procedures are lawyers;
  4. Litigants may not know how to ask for what they want the Court to award them (alimony, child support, timesharing, equitable distribution of property);
  5. Many may be afraid that they are asking for too much or too little in alimony or property distributions and do not know what is appropriate; and
  6. Attorneys are skilled negotiators with a vast knowledge of the law.

4 Reasons Not to Hire an Attorney

The argument for not hiring an attorney is less persuasive, and here is why:

  1. Many believe that attorneys are expensive, but with good reason, as their legal expertise may save money, time, and protect the rights of clients far better than the clients themselves;
  2. The other side might hire an attorney, which is not something to take comfort in, rather it is a reason to hire one's own legal representative;
  3. Attorneys do not know your family (in most cases) and might not understand your unique circumstances, but they will know how to match the law to the facts of your unique case; and
  4. Attorneys may disagree with client's actions and strategies, but is it is a bad thing for a trained legal expert to have a perspective that is different from that of their client

Hiring a Family Law Firm is the Best Decision

When litigants hire a family law firm, the firm will endeavor to reasonably communicate with its clients throughout the entire process. Clients will be informed about their case, the procedural aspects, the financial aspects, and about how best to prepare for court. Attorneys make reasonable attempts to get to know their clients to best understand why parents prefer certain timesharing plans based on the extensive history between the parties and their children. Florida divorce attorneys will do their level best to advocate for clients' preferences, such as specific timesharing for the best interest of their children, reasonable property distribution in accordance with Florida statutory and case law, and ultimately, litigate clients' case to the best of their professional ability and skill. It makes financial and logical sense to hire a trained legal professional to represent you when you are going to court for the most important issue in your life, your family.

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