While going through a divorce, it is very common to wonder if it is necessary to hire family law attorneys to oversee the process. Some states require the involvement of divorce attorneys in the legal dissolvement of a marriage, but not all do. Depending on the state you live in, you may not have to use divorce lawyers in your separation. Let’s say you’re both independently wealthy, kept all of your assets separate throughout your marriage, do not have any children together, and haven’t been married long. In that case, you might be able to smoothly divorce without family law attorneys. However, those situations are not typical. Generally, your divorce involves several incredible delicate factors that require family law attorneys: child custody legal advice, alimony plans, child support, and fair separation of assets. Many times the spouses who are going through the divorce are not on amicable terms, and it is difficult to communicate at all, let alone with important subjects like this.
A few things that family law attorneys do to improve the divorce process include:
- To prevent either party from being intimidated into agreeing to unfair terms.
It is not uncommon for one spouse to make threats to the other that bully them into terms that are unfair (and illegal). Sometimes it is out of spite, just to hurt the other party. If you are hearing threats like, “I’ll leave you without a penny to your name!” or “You’ll never see your children again!” you should have a divorce attorney on your side to fight for your rights and get you through the divorce as unscathed as possible.
Additionally, because of the strong emotions that are involved in a divorce, especially when one spouse is emotionally abusive to the other, family law attorneys provide filtering services. This means the spouses are only able to communicate through the attorney. Any pertinent information is passed on, and hurtful sentiment is filtered out.
- Easing Anxiety
Divorces involve a lot of emotions. You may feel betrayed, rejected, hurt, resentful, and hopeless. While you are sorting out the emotions you are experiencing and trying to decide what to do with your new phase of life, you shouldn’t have to carry the anxiety of losing your livelihood, your children, or ending up paying unfair payments in child support or spousal maintenance. Hiring a family law attorney is a good way to clear your mind to work on yourself, while they work on your behalf to give you a fair and legal deal in the separation.
Also, having legal advisement will help give you peace of mind that you aren’t going to agree to something that you shouldn’t and live to regret it for years to come. Your divorce attorney will oversee the process, give you feedback on what the other party is requesting, and provide a legal perspective on terms you should agree to. This level of protection can really ease your anxiety.
- Safeguarding your financial security.
The biggest reason people try to get through their divorce without an attorney is because of the cost of legal assistance. While your family law attorneys will charge a fee for their services, in most cases, you will come out better financially with a divorce attorney on your team, especially if your spouse has an attorney fighting on their behalf. A few common outcomes of trying to sort out a divorce without a lawyer include:
- Getting stuck with unfair child support payments, or not receiving enough in child support to sufficiently provide for your kids.
- Having to pay most of your income in alimony, or not receiving enough alimony to get by on, when you dedicated your life to raising kids and supporting your spouse and do not have the resources to provide for yourself.
- Receiving an unfair settlement when joint assets are separated. It is common for one spouse to stow money away in a hidden bank account; a divorce lawyer will help uncover these hidden assets and make sure you get your fair share.
Is it possible to go through a divorce without an attorney? Yes. However, for your peace of mind and financial security, you will come out in better shape with one.