My spouse and I agree on everything or nearly everything—do I still need a divorce attorney? Find out what’s recommended here.
Do you really need a divorce attorney if you agree on everything with your spouse?
You’re not required by law to have a lawyer, but you may want legal representation, even if you think you’ll have an easy, peaceful divorce with no disagreements.
Divorce might seem simple if you know how you want to divide things, but it’s a complicated legal process that can be confusing if you don’t have a law background.
Before you decide to go through a divorce with an attorney, consider these reasons you might want legal representation.
Explain the Legal Process
Do you fully understand the divorce process? There are lots of steps and paperwork. You’ll also need to understand all of the laws that pertain to spousal support, child support, child custody, and asset and debt division.
If you’re spending lots of time researching the laws and processes, the whole divorce process will take a lot longer. Legal terms are often difficult to understand, so you might find some things confusing.
When you hire a lawyer, you instantly have access to an expert in the process. Your attorney can explain the process from start to finish. This helps you know what to expect, which can take some of the stress out of divorce.
If you have questions or aren’t clear on something, you have your attorney as a resource.
Advice on Difficult Situations
If your situation is straightforward, you might be able to handle the process on your own.
But if you have any other circumstances, things get more complicated. You could end up getting a bad deal if you’re not getting expert advice from a lawyer.
It’s usually best to have a lawyer on your side if you have kids. Your lawyer can help you develop a parenting plan that benefits both parents and keeps the kids as the primary focus.
If one or both of you own a business, divorce can also be complicated. It could be considered community property, which means both spouses could be entitled to a portion of the business.
A military divorce can also get complicated. Dividing military retirement, securing healthcare, and dealing with an ex-spouse who might be deployed or stationed somewhere else are potential issues.
If you have any questions about the divorce or you have a complicated situation, using a lawyer might be a good option. Even if you think you agree on everything, you and your spouse might be overlooking some of the complexities of the situation that could change the agreement.
Ensure Proper Paperwork
Divorce comes with a large amount of paperwork. You want to get it right the first time to finish the divorce as quickly as possible.
Even a minor mistake the paperwork could negatively affect the outcome of your divorce case. The judge uses the paperwork you provide to make decisions on the case.
Depending on your situation, you might need to file extra paperwork.
Lawyers handle divorce paperwork all the time, so they know what to include and how to word things.
They also understand the importance of filing the paperwork before the deadline to avoid any delays.
Evaluate the Agreement
You might go into the divorce with everything decided, but are you sure you’re getting a fair deal? Even if it seems fair, you might be getting shortchanged in the agreement.
An attorney can look at the agreement to make sure you’re getting what’s rightfully yours. Texas divorce laws state that all assets and income that you accrue during the marriage belong to both spouses equally. An attorney can assure you that the decisions you’ve made follow the law and give you the best deal.
Work Out Unexpected Disagreements
Many couples find they don’t actually agree on everything once they start sitting down and looking at everything. Even a small disagreement can slow down the divorce process. The disagreement could also blow up into something worse and throw your uncontested divorce off track.
Some couples go into the divorce thinking things will be easy to divide and decide, but they might find out it’s not that easy. If you discover you actually have some disagreements on how to handle things, you might want a lawyer on your side to help you sort through it.
Ensure Full Disclosure of Finances
When you go through a divorce without a lawyer, it’s up to you to determine if your spouse is being honest about finances. Some people might try to hide money, such as retirement accounts, which could otherwise be divided.
If you hire a law firm, your attorney will ensure you get a full picture of your spouse’s financial situation. This is important in deciding how to split the assets. If you don’t know all of the finances and assets that are available, you can’t split them fairly.
Family law attorneys help their clients through some of the most difficult times. The best ones understand the emotional effects of what you’re going through.
They listen to your concerns and allow you to express your feelings in a safe environment. They might also have counselors and other support professionals they can refer you to if you need extra emotional support.
Divorce attorneys have seen it all and can help ease your worries and emotions. By explaining the processes and reassuring you that you’re on the right track, your lawyer can help you feel better about the situation.
Your attorney also keeps those emotions from taking over the case. Lawyers take the emotion out of the negotiations and divorce processes. They focus on the legal aspects to best serve you without letting emotions get in the way.
Divorce Attorney Options
While many people hire divorce attorneys to handle the entire case, you can use an attorney in other capacities.
You might hire an attorney to consult on your case to review the paperwork you create yourself. This is a more affordable option and still gives you the peace of mind of a legal review.
You can also use an attorney to help with mediation or negotiations. These processes can help you sort out any areas of disagreement.
Consider Your Legal Options
A divorce attorney is there to protect your interests throughout your divorce case. Even when you think you agree on everything, it can give you peace of mind to have someone advocating for you and helping you understand the process.
Are you considering a divorce? Contact us for a free initial consultation to see how we can help you through your divorce in the Dallas area.