When it comes to divorce, most people want to do away with them as fast as possible. The process is not easy, as it is coupled with high tensions causing spouses to make poor decisions at the spur of the moment. Given the financial strains and all the emotional and practical details that have to be sorted, it is no surprise that most couples end up making big mistakes during the process. While taking on your own case without an attorney may seem like a good way to save time and money, if your case is contested or you have no idea how the divorce system works, it is not practical to forgo the assistance of a divorce lawyer. Most states accept no-fault divorces, and therefore you can easily and quickly get through the process of divorce within the shortest terms. Generally, the less you have to involve the divorce lawyers and the court to solve problems, the better the process will run. So do you need a divorce lawyer? The following information will help you come up with an informed decision.
Do you have minor children?
If you have kids, then you need a parenting plan. A determination must be made as to who will have the legal and physical custody of children. Additionally, you need a visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent and an amount of child support will have to be calculated. These are not easy decisions to make. Coming up with an ideal schedule can be a nightmare. If you end up making a mess on the plan, the aftermath of the divorce in terms of parenting could turn out to be a disaster and even end up hurting the kids. If you have children, and you are struggling with your parenting plan, you should consider using the assistance of an affordable divorce attorney.
Do you have real estate?
When it comes to real estate, what you do with the real estate will determine when and if you will need an attorney. If you have any property and want to sell it, then you will need legal advice on how to handle the sale. When the house is sold, then it is no longer a problem with your divorce. That makes the process easier, and you can get through it without an attorney. If you or your partner intend to keep the house after the divorce, then getting an attorney is a good idea. Real estate is one of the most expensive assets you own, and if you don’t think through on how the property is going to be managed, after the divorce, you could find yourself losing a lot of money. The main point is that if you own some property that will not be sold before the divorce, you need a lawyer.
Do you have retirement plans?
Retirement plans are essential. If you are looking towards retiring someday, then you need to consult a divorce lawyer about how the divorce will affect both you and your spouse’s retirement plan. Retirement plans can be extremely complex and, at the same time, very simple. If either of you has a pension, sharing it may be very tricky. It calls for a very special order called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Drafting a QDRO or any divorce documents properly requires expertise. If you mess up in drafting the divorce papers, you may end up spending more resources in the courts. If you intend to divide the retirement plan, you will need a divorce attorney to guide you through the process.
Having a complicated financial relationship?
The easier your financial situation is, the less you will have to involve a divorce attorney. If both you and your partner have regular jobs, don’t have much in retirement and real estate, and don’t have much debt, you may be able to proceed without an attorney, and your divorce will be inexpensive. On the other hand, if you do owe a lot of money and do own a lot of assets, then you will want to use an attorney for your divorce to avoid problems with the division of the debts and assets that could end up costing you a lot down the road. Simply put, if you have assets that need protection, then it is important to invest in your divorce online or physically by using the assistance of a lawyer.
Can you draft the divorce papers?
The courts operate on paperwork. Typically, attorneys write the divorce documents. They know how and what to write it in a form that the courts will accept. If you are trying to save money and get a divorce without an attorney, you will have to file the divorce papers by yourself. Nowadays, there are many affordable options to get a divorce over the internet. You can go to a website, pay a small fee, answer a few questions, and you will get the divorce documents. The process is quick, easy, and inexpensive.
Are you fighting with your spouse, or is your case uncontested?
If you and your partner have come to an understanding on all the main issues of your divorce (known as an amicable or uncontested divorce), then it may be possible to go through this situation without an attorney. In the case that the divorce is uncontested, then the main issue becomes the paperwork. So the choice to use an attorney will depend on your preferences for dealing with the paperwork. If you and your spouse do not agree on some issues, then a divorce attorney is necessary. Fighting in court on your own is never a good idea. Fighting without an attorney while your spouse is represented by one is even worse.
Additionally, if you and your partner settle the case through mediation, you are still going to need an attorney. A negotiator cannot draft the divorce documents or walk you through the court proceedings. Only divorce attorneys can do that perfectly.
So should you go on without an attorney?
If you have read the above considerations and are still asking yourself if you need a divorce lawyer, then you probably need one. No one wants to spend his or her life savings on divorce lawyers, but unless you have a simple uncontested divorce, then going without an attorney may end up costing you more than anticipated. With so much at stake, a divorce attorney will provide you with concise answers and a clear path for your future. There are numerous places to get divorce lawyers. Nowadays, you can even get a divorce online at an affordable price. Start the process of getting your divorce over the internet.