Top Reasons to Hire a Divorce Attorney to Handle Your Divorce
A divorce is a legal dissolution of a marriage that involves the division of assets, property, and other valuables between the spouses. These tasks can entail substantial planning and are especially complicated where the divorce is contested or involves high value assets that need valuation. Sensitive issues could also be a part of the divorce resolution, namely the custody of minor children and child or spousal support. While the existence of a pre or post marital agreement can help lessen the time, expense, and additional burdens of a divorce proceeding, it is not guaranteed. For instance, these agreements could be declared invalid or unconscionable by the court, your spouse could be otherwise challenging its validity, or there could be interpretation issues—such as vagueness—associated with some of the terms in the agreement.
The above are just a few reasons why it is imperative to retain an experienced divorce law attorney who can guide you through your divorce in what is obviously a very stressful and highly emotional event. Below are the top reasons why you need a divorce attorney to help you handle your divorce proceeding:
- Divorce law is complicated. The laws and procedures regulating the divorce process are complicated and vary from state to state. Your entire case could change dramatically depending on the state you and your spouse are residing, the value of your property, whether your home is the marital home, how much money you earn, whether children are involved, etc. A divorce law attorney can navigate this process in your favor.
- An attorney can save you time and money. Many individuals believe that if they proceed with their divorce pro se—meaning without an attorney—they will save time and money in the long run. However, oftentimes it is only with the assistance of an attorney that individuals save time and money. As mentioned, divorce law is complicated and can be hard for an individual to learn on their own, especially if their case needs to be litigated before a judge. A divorce law attorney is already proficient in the basics of divorce law and can save you time. Further, while expense usually includes the money spent to handle your divorce, it also includes the emotional trauma and distress associated with the divorce process. This can be challenging for individuals to control without the direction of an attorney. Hiring an attorney saves time in the long-run—and therefore saves you the expenses associated with such extended times—and also saves you from the additional emotional burdens.
- Hiring an attorney will alleviate some of the stress of divorce. During this understandably emotional and stressful time, it is easy to make mistakes or jump to conclusions about the resolution of your divorce. It is even more easy to make short-term decisions to quickly finalize your divorce at the expense of long-term consequences. Many individuals only see the goal of getting their divorce over with and moving on to the next stage in their lives. But in doing so, they may critically and irreparably impact their future to their detriment. For instance, many individuals do not fully understand how divorce can impact their future earnings, pension, and retirement funds, as some examples. If not handled correctly and promptly by an attorney, you risk letting your spouse have a claim to those future assets. An attorney can guard against these risks and safeguard your future economic security.
- Pre and post marital agreements are subject to interpretation issues. In cases where there is a pre or post marital agreement in existence, an attorney can help with drafting, interpretation, and enforcement issues surrounding these documents. If your spouse challenges a provision or you feel that the agreement is unfair in some respect, it is your attorney that can guide you through the process for having the judge amend the agreement to be more fair. Do not forget that these agreements are in essence contracts—meaning that your attorney should be knowledgeable in both divorce law and contract law.
- If you wish to proceed without the assistance of the court, an attorney can lead your settlement negotiations on your behalf. Many parties do not want to use the court system and prefer an out-of-court resolution. Collaborative law is one such example and is allowed in many states. This process involves a voluntary dispute resolution whereby both spouses are represented by their attorneys and work towards a solution in their divorce without the involvement of the courts.