Although it may seem tempting to have a “do it yourself” divorce, it is best practice to consult an experienced divorce lawyer to represent your interests. Even if you and your spouse are on amicable terms and feel like an agreement can quickly be reached, there are facets that you and your spouse may fail to consider, such as child custody, child support, alimony, division of property and retirement plans. Moreover, once approved by the courts, the terms of the divorce agreement are effectively permanent; attempting to reverse the court order will be difficult, expensive, and lengthy. With these considerations in mind, here are a few things to weigh in on before determining whether you need a divorce lawyer.
If you and your spouse have children, their custody situation is likely to be at the forefront of your mind. You and your spouse will typically share custody of your children after the divorce unless there are extreme circumstances. During the divorce proceedings, you and your spouse will create a parenting plan and parenting schedule for your children. In addition, you will also need to decide where the children will live, determine the appropriate amount of child support, and establish post-divorce parenting guidelines and rules. While it may seem simple enough to draft these plans, a seemingly minor mistake could potentially have disastrous effects. Improperly using terminology could lead to the exact opposite of what you wanted your post-divorce co-parenting situation to look like. Your children play a significant role in your life. It is best not to take the gamble. Have a Family Lawyer in Charleston WV assist you in handling you and your children’s futures.
It may go without saying, there is less of a need for a divorce lawyer if you and your spouse have a straightforward financial situation and vice versa. Some questions to consider are:
Generally, you should consider hiring a divorce lawyer if you and your spouse have few assets but a high amount of debt or if you and your spouse possess high-value assets.
As a general rule of thumb, if your spouse has hired a divorce attorney, you should enlist the representation of a lawyer too. On the other hand, if your spouse has retained a divorce attorney and you choose to represent yourself without a lawyer’s assistance, this will place you at a sizable disadvantage. Your spouse’s divorce attorney will be serving your spouse’s best interest. Likewise, your divorce lawyer will be in your corner advocating on behalf of your best interests. This helps to ensure that neither party is taken advantage of. Additionally, legal professionals possess a comprehensive understanding of the law that is greater than those who do not work in this industry on a day-to-day basis. Your divorce lawyer will be able to explain any divorce procedures that you may be unsure about and inform you of your legal rights. If your spouse has retained an attorney, consulting a divorce attorney can ensure that you are on a level playing field.