Do You Have to Hire An Attorney When Going Through a Divorce?

In the past, everyone hired an attorney to represent them in a divorce and in fact, many states required it. But this is no longer true in most cases and today you may not need a divorce attorney depending on the type of divorce you are involved in.

This low-cost legal guide will help you decide if hiring an attorney is the right choice in your divorce.

Handling your Own Divorce

If you don’t hire a divorce attorney, you’ll be a Pro Se litigant which means you’re doing it yourself. You will have to complete all of the paperwork and attend every meeting. Being a Pro Se litigant takes many hours of work and can be stressful. But you do save on legal costs. The only expenses you’ll have will be the costs of filing out forms and possibly lost wages if you have to take time off from work.

When should you handle your own divorce? Most family law experts suggest that you represent yourself only when the divorce is a simple one. If there are no children in the marriage and very few assets to divide, there may really be no need for a divorce lawyer. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are amicable and agree on a divorce settlement, than doing your own divorce can work even if you have children and some assets. Be sure there’s a clear plan that you both agree on for issues like child custody, child support payments, spousal support if any and the division of the assets.

Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

If there is any disagreement over custody and asset issues, hiring a divorce attorney is a better choice. In addition, if you are divorcing due to misconduct of your spouse such as infidelity, abuse or abandonment and you believe you have a right to a greater share of the assets, then hiring a divorce lawyer is essential.

Your attorney will be fully aware of the divorce laws in your state and know how to protect your rights and interests. Your divorce lawyer will take care of all the filings necessary and will represent you at meetings. This reduces your workload and prevents you from having to miss work to take care of these issues.

An experienced divorce attorney will make sure you get a fair division of assets. If you have children, the lawyer will fight for you to have custody of the children if that is what you want or will make sure you have appropriate visitation rights if you do not seek primary physical custody.

Many divorce attorneys offer a free consultation, so if you have any doubt about whether you should hire one or not, meet with two or three lawyers and get their perspective. You’ll soon have a clear understanding of what the right decision is in your case.

To learn more about bankruptcy lawyersdivorce lawyers, DUI lawyerspersonal injury lawyers and accident attorneys, visit our library of guides and articles.