When To Use A Divorce Lawyer And When To Avoid One
The topic of divorce is never pleasant and usually painful, but if you find yourself at the end of a marriage, it may be your only logical options. Individuals choose to enter divorce proceedings for a variety of reasons, but usually the more civil these proceedings the better. A divorce lawyer can be incredibly useful for representing you regarding divisions of assets and property and in the event of custody proceedings.
Not everyone needs to solicit the aid of a divorce lawyer, so carefully consider whether you should consider a lawyer in your specific situation. Since each case is different, there is no blanket statement regarding who should use a divorce lawyer and who can forgo the presence of one. You do not necessarily need the help of a divorce lawyer to successfully enter and complete divorce proceedings, but in many cases, their presence and expertise can help immensely through this difficult process.
Depending on your specific situation, you may not need the assistance of a divorce lawyer. That does not mean you should put any less importance or thought into the proceedings than an individual who chooses to hire a lawyer. Many individuals forego hiring a divorce lawyer because they can come up with an agreeable situation between themselves and a former spouse.
Even though your marriage may be ending, remember both parties are adults and should act as such. Individuals who are able to remain mature about the situation and have realistic wants and needs are more capable of handing proceedings without needing a lawyer.
If you choose not to solicit the assistance of a lawyer, carefully consider all potential issues that may arise between you and your former spouse. The two of you should arrange a meeting to discuss all issues before the date of the divorce proceedings so all terms and conditions are clearly determined.
Also, you may need to meet with a neutral third party mediator so that everyone remains focused at the task at hand. Couples who are able to calmly and deliberately discuss any necessary issues regarding the divorce are more apt to have problems later down the road. Most couples are able to discuss the terms of their divorce without needing to involve lawyers.
If you are concerned about your safety or afraid of your former spouse, it will probably be in your best interest to hire a lawyer and let that individual deal with him or her directly. You will still need to make any necessary decisions, but will not have to directly speak to your former spouse.
If there is any problem of abuse—physical, sexual, or verbal—in the relationship, a lawyer should be hired immediately. Furthermore, if you fear for the safety of any children or dependants in your home life, a lawyer be hired for their best interest as well. Furthermore, if your spouse is acting cruel or dishonest towards you or anyone else in the household, hiring a lawyer will help take the focus off you in this situation.
Another reason to hire a lawyer is if your spouse does so first. It is severely discouraged to enter into divorce proceedings against a lawyer if you have no experience in the field of law yourself. Hiring a lawyer will protect your best interests and ensure your wants and needs are taken care of in a court of law. This is especially true if children are involved, as custody cases are often complicated and should be handled by a professional.
If you find yourself wanting to hire a lawyer but financially unable to do so, speak with the legal aid office of your county courthouse. These offices coordinate clients with lawyers who will work at reduced fees or for no cost at all (pro bono). If you know a lawyer through family or friend connections, seek their help and guidance. Many legal acquaintances will be able to provide you with legal information for minimal or no charge.
However, if the lawyer in question shares a relationship with both you and your former spouse, it is strongly recommended you avoid bringing this person into any potential dispute. Making the decision whether or not to hire a lawyer to assist with your divorce proceedings is a critical decision that should be made using a clear head and deliberate thought.