Divorce can be an emotional time. Working with an experienced family law attorney can help you with many different aspects of the process.
Explaining Grounds for Divorce
A lawyer can help explain if there are benefits to having the court dissolve the marriage based on fault grounds. This could be relevant in determining whether or not you will get spousal support and how much support you will get. In some cases, there may have been a defect in the marriage, such as a proper ceremony not being performed. In these cases, a lawyer can help you determine if an annulment is better than getting a divorce.
Giving You Objective Advice
Divorce can be a complicated emotional process. A lawyer can talk to you about the different factors that affect your future, such as custody issues so that you are less focused on the end of your marriage and can remain objective. The divorce lawyer can be the go-between for you and your spouse. Avoiding personal contact can help make the process easier. Many normal people don’t know the different aspects of divorce. With a lawyer, you can have access to all the right legal knowledge to help you make the right decision. A lawyer can help intervene and suggest acceptable terms so that you don’t end up in a messy and traumatic battle in court. If you have any questions about the divorce process, your lawyer can help.
Accounting for the Marital Assets
In order to distribute the marital assets, the lawyer ensures that you will need to disclose all the assets. In some marriages, one spouse handles all the money and the other spouse isn’t aware of assets and debts. Divorce lawyers can help locate assets and liabilities and collect records so that the settlement can properly address each of the possessions.
Explain the Property Division
A lawyer can help explain how property is treated through the divorce process. For example, each spouse may have brought separate property into the marriage. Some spouses may have accumulated separate assets per a postnuptial or prenuptial agreement. A lawyer can explain where there is communal property and how that affects the distribution of the property.
Determining Benefits Such as Spousal Support
Lawyers can help determine if a spouse is required to pay spousal support or is eligible to receive it. Spousal support may be necessary if the spouses have different incomes or when one spouse sacrificed his or her career in order to advance the others. Spouses may be entitled to a portion of any business interest that the other partner runs. Some people are only worried about the immediate financial consequences of divorce. However, there are a lot of future implications if the marriage lasts 10 or more years. You may be entitled to a portion of your spouse’s Social Security income or pension.
Help with Custody Plans
Custody of children can be one of the biggest issues in a divorce. Lawyers can help clients with developing parent plans that work in the best interest of the children.
Prepping the Divorce Papers
In order to get a divorce, formal papers need to be submitted for approval. Lawyers can help clients with these papers, as well as respond to a petition for divorce from the other spouse.
Negotiating A Settlement
A lawyer can help negotiate a settlement about the marital estate. If the process doesn’t include litigation, it can be much faster and cheaper instead of battling it out in court.
Representing You in Court
Sometimes divorces can get messy and can’t be resolved with just negotiation. If needed, a lawyer can help you litigate the case. The process can be necessary to resolve any disputes regarding spousal support or child custody arrangements.
If you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce, you are able to file an uncontested divorce without the help of a lawyer. However, it’s always best to have a lawyer look through the agreement in your uncontested divorce to make sure your interests and rights are protected. Not only is this important to make sure that your rights are protected, but a lawyer can make sure that the agreement can be accepted by the court and that you aren’t overlooking something that could become important down the road.
There are certain situations where hiring a lawyer makes sense and is necessary. You should hire a lawyer if your spouse has a lawyer, if the divorce involves some complicated financial issues or children, there are issues with abuse, or if you think your spouse is being vindictive or is lying about certain issues.