If you’re starting on the divorce process, hiring a competent divorce attorney may be the best course of action. Even if you and your spouse decide to end things amicably, a collaborative divorce will require the involvement of two divorce attorneys representing either side.
Most often than not, divorces have many underpinning factors involved, such as children, assets, spousal support, and length of the marriage, among other things. This can make your marriage ending without a rigorous financial battle improbable.
Without a divorce attorney working in your best interests, dealing with heaps of paperwork and understanding matrimonial law, among other things, can be tricky to manage. Especially while fighting the looming emotional hardships that come with divorce at the same time.
If you find divorce a confusing and convoluted process, you can invest in a good divorce lawyer to help make things smoother and more comfortable. Below are a list of reasons why having a lawyer during divorce is essential:
1) You’re Unfamiliar With Family Court Obligations
As a self-represented litigant, the judge isn’t supposed to give you any leeway or special treatment. You’ll be held to the same strict standards as your opposition. With that said, most judges are quite patient. What drives them over the line is when plaintiffs repeatedly show a complete and total lack of legal knowledge. If you repeatedly fail to present the required documents or misunderstand state matrimonial laws, you may be pushing your luck. The more you irritate a judge, the more you’re likely to lose points.
Divorce lawyers are adept at saying the right things, meeting deadlines, and having a comprehensive understanding of matrimonial law. They can make points in your favor that can compel the judge to see your side’s argument in a positive light. If you choose to self-represent, you might risk jeopardizing your case. It’s always best to stay on the safe side and hire a lawyer from a reputable firm like Engel & Martin.
2) You’re Emotionally Handicapped
Divorce is a time of overwhelming emotions for both parties. Sadness, rage, confusion, and a slew of other negative feelings may cloud your judgment and cause you to act erratically. A huge possibly exists that you might fail to be objective about your case. Very few people take the time out for therapy or tend to other outlets to resolve their emotions about their soon-to-be ex-spouse, which stops them from tackling the divorce process’s financial and legal requirements productively. In contrast, the other side moves fast to resolve crucial matters.
If you’re thinking of self-representing, you need to be mindful that your unsettled emotional state may hinder you from making the right long-term choices. A divorce attorney with no conflict of interest can act as a level headed the third party and make decisions without being sidetracked by the case’s emotional aspects. Throughout the divorce process, a lawyer can give you valuable advice regarding your case. Moreover, if you need psychological assistance to cope with your emotions, a divorce lawyer can get you in touch with the right people to repurpose your emotions into positive tactics.
When emotions are rushing full speed, it’s easy to lash out and lose track of things; a divorce lawyer acts as a buffer and prevents you from unleashing a side of you that may not be ideal for your case.
3) You Need To Assess Alternatives
Some divorce options aren’t on the table in the early stages of the divorce process. At the right time and sensing the changing nature of your case, a divorce lawyer can give you these alternative options to nudge you towards the best possible outcome.
For example, suppose you and your spouse both choose to self-represent; in that case, the judge might reject the agreements you’ve finalized outside court — this could cause unnecessary postponements and more work for everyone involved, including the court system.
As a better option, a lawyer can help you reach an agreeable settlement proposal — one the judge is likely to have no qualms with. Moreover, if your spouse presents an offer, a lawyer can advise you to turn it down, respond with a counteroffer, or go to court.
4) You Have Paperwork To Manage
Dealing with divorce means dealing with a lot of paperwork. Complete paperwork is critical; the case’s outcome will depend heavily on your documentation. You need to fill out a heap of forms and understand which of these forms will be used in which particular situations. Even in an uncontested divorce, the paperwork load is significant.
Using the wrong language, incorrect dates and numbers, or some other mishap could negatively impact your case. You don’t want the judge to perceive you as reckless and lackluster. Moreover, if you remove something accidentally, the opposing party might hold you accountable for “concealed information.”
Part of a divorce lawyer’s job is to fill paperwork so that the judge views your reasoning and evidence favorably. Additionally, your opposition will have a harder time finding loopholes in your representation with the help of a well-trained lawyer.
While your primary intentions may be winning the case, a divorce lawyer will focus on launching a respectable defense. A lawyer will know the obligations you have to fulfill and the paperwork you have to file to ensure a smooth process. They’ll also help you set your priorities, so you don’t have to fight on every other issue with your spouse and keep divorce costs and contentions as minimal as possible.