No two divorces are the same, no two family situations are the same, and no two divorcing couples have the exact same circumstances. So what is good for one divorce, is not necessarily going to be good for another.
To a large extent, whether or not you need to hire an attorney to represent you in your divorce proceedings will depend on how you answer the following questions:
- Is your divorce simple or uncontested?
- Are you and your spouse unable to agree on the terms of your divorce?
- Are there any issues with abuse––spousal, child, sexual, or substance?
- Do you and your spouse have a lot of assets to split?
- Are you concerned about how your retirement account will be divided?
- Do you believe your spouse is hiding assets from you?
If your divorce is simple and uncontested, you may opt to go it alone and not engage a lawyer at all.
Or perhaps, you might hire a lawyer to act as a mediator or a collaborative representative or to simply do one the following:
- Explain your rights and help you understand the divorce process;
- Provide you with recommendations to other professionals such as actuaries or appraisers;
- Advise you on a particular aspect of your divorce, such as spousal support or custody; or
- Prepare documents such as your marital settlement agreement.
On the other hand, if you and your spouse are unable to resolve issues regarding your children, property, or your finances, particularly if your spouse is being deceitful or vindictive, it is advisable to hire your own attorney.
You’ll certainly need to hire an attorney if there are any issues with abuse––spousal, child, sexual, or substance. A lawyer can help you do what you need to do to protect yourself and your children, for instance by obtaining a temporary restraining order against your spouse, arranging for you to have custody of your children, or by filing a request for child support.
Even if you have a really good relationship with your ex, you might want to hire your own lawyer in the event that there is a great deal of property and assets involved in your divorce—especially if you have not been the main breadwinner in your family or if you have signed a prenuptial agreement. You may also want to hire your own attorney if you are concerned about receiving your fair share of your retirement accounts or if you believe that your spouse is hiding assets from you.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
Divorcing couples make some of the most important decisions about their lives during their divorce––from financial issues to their children and parenting. Many expensive divorce mistakes that could have been avoided happened because of spontaneous and emotional decisions that were made without first consulting a lawyer.
To find out if you need to hire an lawyer to represent you in your divorce proceedings, contact an experienced divorce attorney for a confidential, no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your circumstances.