“Get a lawyer!” This is probably the first thing family and friends will advise you when it is learned that you and your spouse plan to divorce. While dissolving your marriage was not likely in your future plans, you may wonder if it is necessary to seek counsel in your situation. You and your spouse may not have a lot of money or property, and the split may actually be amicable. Nonetheless, having a divorce attorney in your corner can assist you through the legal procedures involved in divorcing your husband or wife, and save you a lot of headaches.
The perception that lawyers become involved in divorce cases when one spouse wants to bleed the other dry is common. We have seen plenty of TV shows and movies where a beleaguered ex-husband complains about his ex-wife’s lawyer taking him for everything, but one must understand not every divorce case ends this way. Often, attorneys are retained to assist divorcing couples to reach an amicable conclusion to their marriage and settle matters of property and child custody.
Consider, also, these factors.
1) Where child custody and visitation rights are concerned, bear in mind that if your parents are still living they may wish to see their grandchildren. A lawyer can advise you of grandparent rights where applicable.
2) Who will pay all the fees once the divorce is settled? You may wish to have an attorney on hand to help you with every step in the legal process.
3) Did you or your spouse sign a prenuptial agreement? Is it being contested now? Perhaps you had signed an agreement and wish to contest – it is good to discuss with a lawyer what can be done.
4) Do you have pets? It is not unheard of for couples to battle over custody of a beloved dog or cat. If you find this becomes an issue seek counsel.
5) If either you or your spouse plans to leave the city or state following the divorce, you may have issues to settle while you are separated a good distance. You lawyer can act as your intermediary in some cases.
Lawyers don’t necessarily become a factor if and when the divorce gets nasty. You attorney is there to guide you through ending your marriage and ensuring that you receive your fair share of the marital assets. Consider hiring a lawyer if you are preparing to divorce.