If you’re facing a divorce, you might wonder if it’s worth hiring a lawyer. You may have heard the common trope that lawyers are expensive and drag out the legal process. But the truth is, people rarely regret hiring an attorney, but they almost always regret NOT hiring one.
Going through the divorce process is never easy. Emotions are raw, someone who was supposed to be at your side forever is now on the opposite side of a courtroom bench, and the legal process is complex and time-consuming. Each state has its own set of complicated laws, rules, and procedures for determining each point of a divorce agreement. To successfully navigate the process and emerge with your desired outcomes you’d have to be deeply familiar with your state’s laws on the separation of marital assets, child custody, child support, and spousal support. While you’re only going to go through the divorce process once (or maybe a handful of times) an experienced divorce attorney navigates the process of divorce law in your state for divorcing spouses every day throughout an entire career.
There are at least five important things a divorce lawyer can do for you during your divorce that you cannot do on your own.
1. An Attorney Can See The Situation Clearly
You might think you can be objective and focus on the law, but an attorney can see each element of your divorce case clearly while you may actually be seeing it through the black fog of grief or the red haze of anger. An attorney is objective and clear-headed, with the goal of protecting your best interests throughout the process while you may inadvertently compromise your own best interests in an attempt to score over your ex-spouse or because you’re acting in the heat of intense emotions.
2. A Lawyer in Your Jurisdiction Knows the Court and the Judge
While you’re going into the courtroom blind, your attorney is familiar with your jurisdiction and has likely been in that judge’s courtroom before. That means they understand the courtroom protocol and know what the judge expects, as well as what the judge dislikes in their courtroom. This is a definite advantage in making your side appear competent, confident, and professional.
3. Use the Facts to Support the Law
A practiced divorce attorney knows how to use the facts of your case to support your desired outcome through each contentious aspect of divorce such as:
Working toward your goals for child custody by using available facts to show how it’s in the child’s best interests
Protecting your interests throughout the distribution of marital assets and retention of your separate assets
Ensuring you aren’t treated unfairly in the determination of child support and spousal support orders
4. Your Attorney Can Walk You Through Each Step of the Procedure
Instead of trying to complete a divorce on your own, it helps to have an experienced attorney to answer all of your questions and tell you what to expect before each step of the legal proceedings. You’ll have less stress with your attorney navigating the divorce process with you to minimize unpleasant surprises.
5. Process the Paperwork
The paperwork involved in a divorce is immense and ever-evolving. An attorney will ensure that all the correct paperwork is diligently completed and promptly filed in the correct jurisdiction. Without an attorney’s focused, knowledgeable attention to detail, your divorce could derail at any point in the process due to paperwork errors.
Your lawyer protects your rights and best interests throughout the difficult divorce process. They’ll aim for an out-of-court settlement with acceptable resolutions, but will willingly go to court to protect your best interests if that’s what it takes.