Did you know that the number of divorces in the U.S. is 782,038? Are you quickly approaching divorce proceedings with your spouse and aren’t sure whether you need a lawyer or not?
In this article, you’ll get to explore your options and the answer to, do you need a lawyer for a divorce? Read on to discover the answer to this question, and why a lawyer is so important to the divorce proceedings.
Do I Need a Lawer for an Uncontested Divorce?
With an uncontested divorce, you might feel like you don’t need a lawyer. While you can file without a lawyer, it’s highly advisable to seek legal help.
It’s a good idea to at least have a lawyer look through the agreement to ensure that your interests and rights are protected. They can also make sure that the agreement will be accepted by the court.
When you’re filing for divorce you can choose what’s called a limited-scope representation. This means you decide what the lawyer will help you with.
For example, they can review your agreement, draft your divorce agreement, file your divorce, attend your divorce hearing, etc. If you choose a lawyer to help you with certain features they usually offer what’s called a flat fee. Keep in mind that you and your spouse will need to hire a separate lawyer.
A collaborative divorce is where you and your spouse come to an agreement to focus on the settlement. This can include attorneys as well. In most cases, a collaborative lawyer will only work with you if your partner has their own attorney as well.
In this case, an agreement usually has to be signed that states if a settlement can’t be reached and is headed toward litigation, then you and your spouse have to find new lawyers.
You can choose what’s called divorce mediation where a 3rd neutral party will come in and help you and your spouse come to an agreement. You can still choose to have an attorney be part of this as well.
Since they’re a neutral party they won’t take your side or your spouse’s. This process might be quicker than the traditional route if it’s successful. If it’s not then it can take much longer.
Do You Need a Lawyer for a Divorce?
In certain circumstances, you should always want to hire a lawyer. For example, if there’s substance abuse, sexual abuse, child abuse, or domestic violence you’ll want to hire a lawyer.
When you hire an attorney, you’re taking the steps necessary to protect your rights. If you find out your spouse hires an attorney, it’s a good idea to lawyer-up as well.
If you don’t, it can lead to unfair misrepresentation. In order to keep it fair, it’s a good idea to hire an attorney.
Divorces can be messy and if you suspect that your partner is hiding assets or destroying property, you’ll definitely want an attorney. Hiring an attorney can also provide you some relief since you’ll know that someone is guiding you along in the process.
Lawyer vs Mediation
If money is tight and you’re looking to keep the divorce peaceful, you can try a mediator. Keep in mind that you should go this route if you know that you and your spouse have an agreement that you’ll both stand by.
If children are involved and you’re nervous about child custody, it might be better to go with a lawyer to ensure that your rights are heard. Choose a lawyer as well if your spouse is incapacitated.
This can mean neurological conditions, addicts, etc. A mediator is for when both of you can make decisions together. If your spouse is mentally incapable, it’s best for both of you to have legal representation.
Unwilling To Mediate
If your spouse is unwilling to mediate then you’ll want to consider hiring a lawyer. Mediation will only work if you both agree to it and are serious about going through the process.
Signs It’s Time for a Divorce
If you’re on the fence about divorce there are some signs you’ll want to take a look at. For example, have you lost hope in your marriage? Do you avoid communication with your partner?
You might decide that marriage counseling might be the better option than running for divorce right away. Another sign that it’s time for a divorce is if your needs aren’t being met.
Marriage is a connection between 2 people and if it’s only about one person then what’s the point? Also, if you’re only staying together for the children then you’re not doing yourself, your partner, or your children any favors.
Your children deserve to be in a healthy environment and see love and marriage in a positive situation. Children can sense when something is up, and this negativity can impact them as well.
If you or your children are suffering abuse, then it’s time to get a divorce. Ensure that you have a safe plan to get to safety for you and your children.
Answering the Question To Do You Need a Lawyer for a Divorce?
Now that you’ve explored the answer to the question, do you need a lawyer for a divorce, you should have a better idea if a lawyer is right for you. Remember that it’s up to you and your partner to decide when to call it quits.
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