Anyone planning a divorce should talk to a divorce attorney about their options before initiating the divorce process. Divorce attorneys can help you understand divorce procedure, laws and requirements as well as provide answers to your questions about how you and your family will be directly affected by the divorce. Divorce laws vary from state to state and even if you are already in the middle of a proceeding, a local divorce attorney can help you navigate the divorce laws and keep you updated on any changes in your state. The mental and emotional challenges of divorce are difficult to deal with without the pressure of legal matters. Competent divorce attorneys can make the ordeal of dealing with the legal issues a lot easier and allow you to focus your time and attention on other areas of the divorce.
Contrary to popular belief, most divorce cases do not result in lengthy court trials. Divorce attorneys usually assist in negotiation and mediation between parties to help make sure fair settlements have been agreed upon before the case is presented to a judge. Divorce attorneys can save time, money and hassles by smoothing out any potential disagreements before the issues need to settled by a judge in a court decision.
Divorce attorneys are most often called upon to assist in negotiation and compromise when considering issues of property division and spouse or child support matters. Effective mediation assisted by a competent divorce attorney can go a long way to ensure property and support disputes do not end up in messy and expensive trial situations.
In cases where neither party is blamed for the dissolution of the marriage, divorce attorneys can suggest and mediate alternative resolutions that may be less stressful and expensive such as a no-fault divorce or a collaborative divorce where both sides reach an equitable solution through negotiations. Both options require fewer forms, fees and court costs than trial disputes.
Although divorce laws in each state dictate how the courts will handle the divorce process, there are exceptions to every rule and each individual divorce may involve different circumstances. With the aid of a divorce attorney in your area you can learn how the local divorce court is likely to handle the particular aspects of your own divorce. In uncomplicated divorce situations, people may consider trying to save money by handling the divorce paperwork and court filings by themselves. In cases involving any one of a number of extenuating factors, handling your own divorce is not a good idea and the case will likely end up in a trial dispute anyway. If you are unclear as to whether or not you need the services of a divorce attorney, you probably do. Even though it is not the least expensive solution, a good rule of thumb is that your interests are always better represented by an attorney than they would be without one.
You definitely need a Divorce Attorney if:
- One party has a criminal record
- Domestic violence, child abuse, sexual abuse or verbal abuse is present
- Either party has significant mental or physical health issues
- Alcohol or drug abuse is present
- Abandonment is an issue in the marriage
- Either party is in financial distress
- Assets of a private business are disputed
- Either party is hiding assets
- One party has moved to another state
- Either party has made threats