Divorce...do I really need an attorney?
Updated: Apr 25, 2018
I am often contacted by people who are contemplating divorce or who have recently been served a Complaint for Divorce. Usually, one of the first questions asked is something to the effect of, "Can't I do this on my own, attorneys are expensive?" The answer to that question is yes, you can, but I would not recommend it. There are several reasons why it is important to have an attorney by your side when you are going through a divorce, child custody or parenting time dispute. The first reason is that a divorce proceeding is dividing everything you have worked to obtain throughout your marriage. You risk losing or not being awarded a fair share of your real property, personal property, retirement accounts, money, and investment accounts. In addition, many times a spouse is entitled to an award of temporary or permanent spousal support which can be overlooked when a divorce is handled without the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. I believe that the number one reason not to handle a divorce or custody matter on your own is children. Many people are not aware that it is very difficult to change custody and parenting time once an Order is issued by the court regarding the custody of children. It is the best practice to have custody, child support, and parenting time awarded appropriately from the beginning. Not only will it save you attorney fees and court costs in the long-run, but it will be a benefit to the children's stability and interests, who are subject to the Order.