Divorce is never easy; in fact, it can be one of the most difficult things you’ll deal with in your entire life, emotionally. However, it doesn’t have to be financially taxing, at least not to the extent that it can be if you try to handle it on your own. One of the reasons why family law has a reputation as one of the more difficult parts of the legal system is due to the fact that it encompasses divorce court. Many people attempt to handle their divorces on their own, precisely because of the misconception that divorce attorneys complicate the process, or make it nastier. In reality, divorce attorneys have developed an unfair reputation. Their job is to do the opposite, and streamline the divorce process so that it’s as painless and clean-cut as possible, while representing their clients’ interests. Remember that even if your divorce is amicable, you’re getting divorced for a reason. Inevitably, you and your former spouse will share certain assets that are valuable to both of you. The process becomes even more complex if you share children together. If you try to represent yourself with the help of a divorce attorney, you could very easily end up losing more than you may have expected.
Below, we’re looking into some of the main reasons why you should at the very least consult with a divorce attorney after you’ve decided to pursue a legal separation from your spouse. While the idea of hiring a divorce attorney may seem intimidating, it doesn’t have to signal to your former partner that you’re seeking a great fight over assets and children. Rather, it can ultimately help the two of you avoid unnecessary enmity. And if avoiding conflict is impossible, your lawyer will ensure that your interests are protected. Without any further ado, let’s look into some of the main reasons why you should hire a divorce attorney.
1. Child Support
If you share children with your former spouse, sorting out a custody and child support agreement should be a top priority during the divorce process. Custody can be incredibly painful and difficult to sort out; on the other hand, some former spouses find it fairly straightforward. It does inevitably affect what you will end up paying in child support, or conversely what you will receive. Most of the time, the parent that has primary custody of the child will receive child support, which is meant to represent the other parent’s contributions to the child’s expenses. Now, child support isn’t necessarily set in stone. Custody and child support agreements can change as life circumstances change. For example, if the non-custodial parent experiences a shift in income, specifically a decrease or increase of 15% or more, this would account for what is called a significant variance, and the child support agreement can change.
If you’ve been married for even a short amount of time, it’s likely that you and your ex-partner accumulated assets together. Even if all you shared was furniture, you probably don’t want to lose everything you financially contributed towards. While it’s inevitable that some things will need to be divided, you shouldn’t lose any more than you absolutely must. An attorney can represent you during these negotiations, and help you devise ways to come to an agreement that is in your favor. This way, you’ll avoid nasty arguments without simply capitulating.
3. Dealing With Prenuptial Agreements
Perhaps you signed a prenuptial agreement; conversely, perhaps your ex-partner did. Either way, now you don’t quite agree with its terms. Many believe that prenuptial agreements are set in stone, but this is not always the case. By having a lawyer look over the agreement, you can get a better idea of whether or not it’s worth fighting and where you may have grounds to have it overturned. It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to do this without an attorney.
Divorce is a part of life, and you shouldn’t be ashamed of yours. However, as amicable as some divorces can be, you should certainly utilize legal representation and safeguard yourself against potential losses. It’s simply a matter of being safe.