Do I Need to Hire a Divorce Attorney?
A big question that most people have when contemplating divorce is whether they need to hire an attorney. While many people getting a divorce would prefer to keep costs down, it may be far more expensive if you don’t hire an attorney. Whether to hire an attorney really depends on a number of factors.
First, how well you understand your legal rights in a divorce? I’ve met with many people who describe tales of woe, in which they agreed to their spouse’s demands out of fear that they would do much worse, when in fact the law would have provided for far more. Examples of this include fathers agreeing to much less parenting time than they would receive or wives agreeing to far less spousal maintenance than they deserve.
Second, how well do you know and understand your finances? Many people let their spouse make all the financial decisions. In a divorce, they then take their spouse’s word as to how much income he/she is earning or what they have in assets and debts. Unfortunately most people are capable of stretching the truth in such situations to get a better result for themselves. You must fully know your financial situation.
Third, does the other side have an attorney? This should probably be the first question, because if the answer is yes, then 99.9% of the time you should have your own attorney too. I have had far too many people come to me after accepting a terribly unjust settlement because they trusted their spouse’s attorney. Remember, your spouse’s attorney is not working for you.
Finally, do not to sign anything, especially a divorce decree, without having it reviewed by an attorney. You may not need to hire the attorney to represent you but at least have an attorney review what you are agreeing to and what you will legally be bound to follow. I provide a free, 30 minute consultation and am always happy to discuss the above factors with people and help them make the right decision for them. I can be reached at (480) 833-1113.