when should i hire an attorney

Do You Have To Hire A Divorce Lawyer?

Goldberg Jones Divorce, Featured Posts 9 Comments

So, the question of the day is whether or not you should hire a divorce lawyer.

In general, asking yourself if you need to hire a lawyer means something is wrong. Maybe you’ve been arrested. In this case, however, it most likely means divorce is on the table.

Whether or not to represent yourself is a big decision, one that has deep and lasting ramifications.

Before you make a final choice, within this bigger question, there are many questions to consider:

  • Do you have children, substantial assets to divide, and other complicating factors?
  • Are you or your spouse highly emotional or acting irrationally?
  • Is there a great deal of conflict that makes communication difficult or even impossible?
  • Do you understand the process? (This includes everything from the forms and filing to knowing whether a proposed settlement is fair to understanding what the law entitles you to.)
  • Does your spouse have an attorney?

Do You need a Divorce Attorney?

Not every situation is black and white and automatically requires a lawyer. You also have the right to represent yourself in other legal proceedings as well. But like with most legal matters, things often get twisted and complex in a hurry. Divorce often becomes complicated in short order, even if it appears simple on the surface.

In an amicable and uncontested divorce, for instance, it’s possible to take a do-it-yourself approach and be just fine.

As a rule, in all but the most basic cases, it’s usually in your best interest to have an experienced attorney on your side. They guide you through the process, show you the ins and outs, and make sure you handle everything correctly.

You don’t want to miss something significant when it comes to the division of property or child custody. This may put you in a bad position. You want to avoid mistakes that cost you big in the long run.

Related ReadingHow Does Adultery Affect Divorce In California?

Representing Yourself – DIY Divorce

The biggest positive to representing yourself in divorce is obviously the money. Law school is long and expensive, and divorce lawyers aren’t known for being super cheap.

Utilizing online guides or kits, it’s possible to end your marriage for little more than filing fees and a handful of other costs. Potentially saving thousands of dollars is an attractive option. That’s why this strategy has become so popular.

This works best in relatively straightforward cases. The easier, more uncomplicated, the better.

  • Uncontested divorces,
  • short marriages,
  • situations without children,
  • minimal debt to divide or assets,
  • with little or no shared property.

It’s even possible to handle everything yourself even in more complex divorces. You can tackle the division of property and even child custody on your own.

Saving money is fantastic, but the situation can take a nosedive in the blink of an eye. Even if things start out friendly and on the up and up, they don’t always stay that way.

Related Reading: Pro Se: A Closer Look at DIY Divorce

Does Your Spouse Have a Divorce Lawyer?

You should ask yourself all of these questions and more when deciding whether to hire a divorce lawyer or not. You have a great deal to think about. But there’s one case where it’s especially important.

If your spouse hires a divorce lawyer, you may also want to follow suit.

Not having representation potentially puts you at a serious disadvantage. Many divorce lawyers don’t like going up against people representing themselves.  Your spouse’s attorney would fear a judge throwing out a settlement because it’s too skewed in favor of their client.

Lasting Impacts of Divorce

Most cases, civil, criminal, or otherwise, have a substantial impact on your life in one way or another.

This is especially true in divorce. Maybe visitation with your kids is on the line. Perhaps you can no longer afford spousal support payments.

At the very least, if you hire a lawyer to represent your best interests, it doesn’t hurt. It’s reassuring to have someone guide you through the process and potential pitfalls and it’s generally best to err on the side of caution.

The choices you make now leave a lasting impression and affect your life for years to come.

Related Reading: Why Does Divorce Take So Long?

How to Proceed

This shouldn’t be taken as gospel truth, but hopefully, this gives you something to think about. Whether or not to hire a divorce lawyer is a big question.

Just because you answer one of these questions one way or another, that isn’t a definitive answer. We designed this for educational purposes only and shouldn’t be construed as professional advice.

Many people hesitate to hire a divorce attorney. The reasons range from perceived cost to being unsure how to go about it in the first place.

While it might seem counter-intuitive, hiring an experienced and dedicated family law attorney can actually save you money and provide you peace of mind through the entire divorce process.

As your advocate, your divorce lawyer helps create a divorce agreement that meets your needs and accommodates your unique circumstances. An experienced attorney works with you to address both your immediate and long-term goals.

Parenting plans, spousal support, and the division of assets, all carry consequences that last years if not longer. And once in place, these court orders prove difficult and expensive to modify in the future. It’s important to do things right the first time.

San Diego’s best family law attorneys are familiar with the nuances of the law and will create a strategy for your case based on your unique facts. Hiring the right divorce lawyer makes sure you get the most favorable outcome possible, protects your rights and assets, and may save you money on child support and spousal support.

Related Reading: If I File For Divorce First Do I have An Advantage?

Comments 9

  1. It helped when you mentioned that it is important to file your documentation to proceed properly. My cousin mentioned to me last night that he and his wife are planning to have a separation because of major conflicts affecting their marriage and asked if I have any idea what is the best option to do. Thanks to this informative article, I’ll be sure to tell him that it will be much better if he consults a trusted divorce lawyer as they can answer all his inquiries and will surely help him.

  2. It helped when you mentioned that having representation gives you a huge advantage. My cousin mentioned to me last night that he and his wife are planning to have a separation because of major conflicts affecting their marriage and asked if I have any idea what is the best option to do. Thanks to this informative article and I’ll be sure to tell him that it will be much better if he consults a trusted divorce attorney as they can answer all his inquiries and will surely help him.

  3. Thank you for explaining how you can know if you need an attorney. My friend has been wondering if she should hire a lawyer to help with her divorce. I’ll be sure to pass this on to her so that she can determine if she needs one or not.

  4. I was searching for a divorce lawyer. Thanks, admin, for sharing such wonderful content on this topic. Now I have got everything I need about it.

  5. I agree that divorces have lasting impacts. So having a lawyer could help ease the stakes. Or at least help make everything a lot easier to understand.

  6. ‘I agree that I could save money, but if the case goes bad, I’ll be in a lot of trouble.’ So, perhaps, I’ll be able to hire an attorney to assist me. It sounds like representing myself would be a nightmare waiting to happen.’

  7. Even if you agree on everything, you need a lawyer to draft the agreement. Once you agree on everything, you need to memorialize the agreement on paper. Again, technically you can do this on your own. … Divorce lawyers are trained in legal writing and analysis, and will make sure the agreement is drafted properly.

  8. I agree that I could save money but if the case takes a nosedive then I will be in a world of hurt. So hopefully, I can get an attorney to help me out. Representing myself just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

  9. Thank you for emphasizing the importance of hiring an lawyer who will be by my side throughout the entire process. I’ve always felt alone being childless with my ten-year husband, but I believe it’s time for me to seek help and get out of this predicament.

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