Before you even finalize your decision to end your marriage, the very first step should be to talk with a family law attorney. While it can be intimidating, especially if you've never had to deal with any legal matters before, your attorney will be your most valuable resource. While it may be tempting to try to go it alone through the divorce, particularly if you and your ex are able to agree on most matters, it's not a good idea. Here are three reasons it's a good idea to have an attorney by your side throughout your divorce.
1. Your attorney is objective. While your legal representation will be looking at how to best protect your rights and interests, they do not have any emotional involvement in the case. This makes them better suited to propose compromises or possible options you may not have thought of or initially dismissed.
2. Your attorney is knowledgeable about court procedures. While it is possible to represent yourself through a divorce, it's not recommended. Traditional divorces involve hearings, evidence and even witness testimony. Without a thorough understanding of when and how to challenge or suppress evidence, it can be extremely difficult to navigate the trial.
3. Your attorney is well connected. Because divorce attorneys have plenty of experience, they know that every divorce is different. Depending on your situation, you may need to call in an expert witness or have an accountant look over your financial records to ensure that your ex isn't attempting to hide any assets. Your attorney already has people they can call to help you if the need arises.
Source: Divorce Magazine, "Five Reasons to Hire a Divorce Attorney," Janet McCullar, July 06, 2016