Early in the divorce process, you may be tempted to consider representing yourself in court. One of the biggest reasons people choose to do so is that they think it will save them money, so they overlook some of the significant downsides to foregoing the advice and support of a divorce lawyer.
Perhaps you weren’t married for long, or you and your spouse do not have children or significant assets. In certain cases, you may be ok using a kit or online service instead of hiring a lawyer to help you with your divorce. However, the majority of people see big benefits in hiring an experienced divorce attorney.
Here are 3 reasons why you should hire a divorce lawyer:
- Expertise in family court and divorce law. In hiring an attorney experienced in family court and marital law, you benefit from their years of expertise in navigating the often complicated divorce process. Those who represent themselves are held to the same standard as a divorce attorney in court, receiving no special treatment from the judge. In fact, not knowing the law, what documents you need, or what the next steps are in the divorce process will almost certainly cause a judge to lose sympathy and patience for your cause. Even experienced lawyers going through a divorce process hire an attorney if marital law is not their area of expertise.
- An objective perspective. Going through a divorce can be extremely emotional, distracting, and disruptive to your normal routine. Added to this emotional stress are the complexity, time, and money that goes into the legal process of getting a divorce. In hiring a divorce lawyer, you gain a team member who can provide an outside, expert perspective, answering your questions, guiding you as you make decisions and set priorities, and providing advice based on their years of experience. Your divorce attorney has your best interests in mind during a time when you may not even be sure what a satisfying solution may look like. The most “successful” divorce cases end in compromise, with both sides agreeing to a solution that may not necessarily be exactly what they were hoping, but is best for everyone involved. An experienced attorney can help you focus on the big picture rather than getting bogged down by every little thing. As a divorce attorney myself, I know that my clients have limited time and money, so I do my very best to move the process along, providing support and an objective, expert perspective along the way.
- One word: paperwork. Unless you’ve previously gone through a divorce without hiring a lawyer, it’s hard to imagine the amount of paperwork needed to complete the process. In deciding to represent yourself, you miss out on having an expert at every stage of the divorce process ensure you have the documentation you need. In court, the judge relies heavily on documentation to make their judgment, and not having the right paperwork can hurt your case by making you seem careless or intentionally evasive. An experienced divorce attorney can make sure your paperwork is filled out correctly in a way that makes a persuasive case, better positioning you for a favorable outcome. Finally, not having the right paperwork will slow down the divorce process significantly; in fact, it’s one of the biggest reasons cases get tied up in the courts.
There are lots of reasons why hiring a divorce lawyer is the right call. In addition to having an expert in marital law and family court on your team, you have someone you can turn to for advice, perspective, and help in seeing the bigger picture.
You don’t have to go through the divorce process alone; at Iowa Divorce Law Firm, we help clients in Milwaukee and across the region with expert legal advice and services. Divorce is our area of expertise, and we are passionate about ensuring you and your family get through this stressful time as quickly and smoothly as possible. For questions or to get started today, give us a call.