Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer?

If you and your spouse have both made the decision to end your marriage, you will need to decide whether a divorce attorney should be hired. However, this all depends on your unique situation. Keep in mind, however, that a divorce attorney can help make the divorce process run as smoothly as possible in court. Additionally, if you have a less-complicated divorce, maybe you and your spouse may want to go the DIY route.

Making Your Own Decisions

You may not need the help of a divorce lawyer if you and your spouse are able to work together and solve some major legal issues such as:

  • Alimony
  • Child support
  • Division of property
  • Child custody of children under 18

There are many advantages to the divorce process if you and your spouse decide to work together including:

  • You will save a lot of money and time by not having to hire a divorce attorney to handle every aspect of your divorce.
  • Children that are in the middle of a divorce will undergo a smoother transition if their parents are able to sort through the divorce on their own.
  • You will have more control of important issues that will be questioned during your divorce process instead of leaving them in the court’s hands.

The good news is that if you and your spouse can agree to bigger issues within the divorce, you can normally seek to have the court grant you a divorce in writing. This type of divorce is also known as an uncontested divorce.

Depending on the state you reside in, you may not even need to go to court for the finalization of the divorce. However, you must prove to the courts that your divorce is uncontested and have sorted through everything. Additionally, some states may still require shorter court appearances if there are any children under the age of 18 involved.

Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

Divorces are not easy and can bring about some intense emotions due to their nature. If you do make the decision to hire an attorney, it is important that you hire the correct one for your unique situation. You need to know whether you need a lawyer to represent you in court or one that will assist you and your spouse in working out an agreement. Every divorce may call for a different approach.

However, you want to make sure that you ask your attorney some important questions during your initial consultation including:

  • Is your attorney known for fighting some of the most common and even minor issues in front of a judge?
  • Does your attorney prefer coming to an agreement outside of court vs fighting in court?
  • Would your attorney support the possibility of coming to a settlement outside of court?

There are also certain situations that make hiring a lawyer a must, including:

  • Abuse being present in the marriage
  • Your spouse has already hired an attorney
  • Your divorce involves financial issues that are more complicated or involve children
  • You believe your spouse may be lying about particular issues or is being resentful

If you are not able to afford a lawyer, you should consider contacting your local legal aid office for further assistance. You may qualify for reduced costs of free legal representation. Additionally, if you do not qualify, you may still get some of your questions answered throughout your divorce proceeding.

If you still can’t decide whether you need to hire a divorce attorney, you may just need to. If there are children involved or more that is at stake, an attorney can help give you clear answers to some of the biggest questions you have regarding child support, property distribution, and more.

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