Did you know that the average cost for a contested divorce is between $15,000 and $30,000? And that’s only the beginning if you get left holding the bag when it comes to things like alimony and child support.
Clearly, few life events have a bigger impact on your future than a divorce. An unfavorable outcome can cripple you financially or leave you with limited access to your kids.
Yet, some people wonder, “Do I need a lawyer to get a divorce?” The answer is a resounding yes. After all, it takes an expert to understand and navigate the complex waters of family court.
But that’s not the only reason. Here’s a full breakdown of why hiring a lawyer to represent you is the best decision you’ll ever make.
To Prevent Errors and Misunderstandings
Let’s start with a simple scenario. You’ve decided to divorce without hiring legal representation, and you’ve drawn up documents using online resources. A family court judge will review these documents before your divorce becomes official.
If the court misunderstands what you’re attempting to convey, you could end up with a clear and binding agreement that’s not what you intended. What’s more, unclear language or confusion in legal documents can render them unenforceable.
To avoid unnecessary hassles or an outcome that you never intended, hire an attorney from the get-go. Your lawyer will ensure your divorce decree is fair, accurate, and gives you what you deserve.
To Avoid Delays
Deciding to get divorced is a process that can take many months or even years to bring to fruition. Once you’ve made this agonizing decision, you want to have closure.
That said, should you choose to represent yourself in divorce proceedings, this could draw out the process unnecessarily. Even if you get the appropriate court paperwork, if you fail to complete and file it correctly, you’ll see delays.
Problems with paperwork could also lead to extended time before a court ruling. As a result, your final date of divorce might be much later than you originally hoped for or planned.
But with an attorney, you can rest assured your paperwork will be filed properly and on time. In other words, hiring a lawyer remains your fastest route to moving on with your life.
To Reduce Your Stress Levels
Any way you slice it, divorce is a messy and painful process. It also packs a wallop when it comes to stress. After all, when facing a divorce, it can feel as if every certainty in your life has suddenly uprooted.
The last thing you need to do is add being your own lawyer to the top of this stress heap.
Our answer remains simple. Do you want peace of mind? Do you want to live in the firm knowledge that you’ve taken every means that you can to get what you deserve during a divorce?
If the answer’s yes. Then, hire an attorney.
It’s one less thing to worry about. After all, you’ve got enough on your mind. Don’t add restless nights wondering whether you filed court paperwork correctly to your list.
To Deal with Complex Marital Situations
You should also consider the type of divorce case you have before making a final decision about legal representation.
If you’ve got an uncontested divorce on your hands that’s no-fault and involves no property or kids, you’ll only need the advice of a lawyer fleetingly.
But if you have a situation involving property and children? You need a good family law attorney.
Why? Because not only will you and your former spouse deal separating from one another and starting new lives, but you’ll need guidance when it comes to things like:
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Child custody and visitation
- Property division and debt
Depending on the assets you own, the list above represents the tip of the iceberg. Since these issues all have life-changing implications, you need legal representation to improve your odds of a satisfactory outcome.
To Handle Special Circumstances
Certain circumstances warrant hiring a lawyer right away. For example, do you and your spouse own a business together? If so, you’re in for a complicated divorce, no matter how nice you are to each other face-to-face.
Not only can an attorney provide you with the knowledge that you need, but they can also bring in other necessary professionals. These include consultants and appraisers.
Another circumstance that necessitates a lawyer is domestic violence. If at any point in your relationship domestic violence occurred, then get a lawyer. There remains no good way to negotiate with someone who’s intimidated or hurt you.
The same goes for situations where spouses can’t agree on anything. If you find yourself locked in a bitter dispute every time you try to bring up the divorce and how to proceed, get the help of an expert.
To Receive the Expert Advice You Deserve
When it comes to receiving the most favorable terms possible, you’re out of luck without a lawyer. What’s more, state laws don’t always support a fair splitting of assets.
In fact, in some states, former spouses even have the right to ask for your future income from retirement funds or an inheritance. No matter how amicably you and your soon-to-be-former-spouse act now, divorce brings out the worst in people.
If you’ve got a lot to lose, then hire a professional to protect your assets. You’ll thank yourself now and years down the road, too. After all, you don’t want to spend the rest of your life paying for a divorce via alimony, retirement, and more.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Get a Divorce?
If your marriage has fallen apart and you’re wondering, “Do I need a lawyer to get a divorce?” then now is the time to act. Nothing compares to the heartbreak of divorce except the nightmare of waking up to a divorce decree that you despise.
It’s time to take control of your life and your future. Hiring an excellent family law attorney will help you do that.
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