How to Determine Whether or Not You Need a Divorce Attorney

How to Determine Whether or Not You Need a Divorce Attorney

A couple contemplating divorce.

Some of us may insist that we will not need the services of a competent and experienced divorce attorney for any kind of divorce case. Of course, you are always allowed by law to personally represent yourself. However, this might not be the right way to go as you may not have the wherewithal and the competence in ensuring that your legal rights are protected during the entire proceedings. There are several indicators related to divorce cases which you can refer to in determining if you will require the services of a competent and experienced family attorney.

Here is a checklist of the important aspects of a typical divorce case which you must consider when making up your mind whether you will spend for the services of a good lawyer or not.

  1. Are you expecting any serious dispute for the custody & visitation of the children? If that is the case, then you will definitely require the services of a competent lawyer as you won’t want to lose your custodial rights to your children.
  1. Has your spouse retained a lawyer? As soon as the other party decides to seek legal counsel, then the case takes on major twist. You can not afford to proceed with the separation case without getting your own lawyer to assist you.
  1. Are you expecting serious arguments affecting community property and your personal assets? The material aspect is easily one of the most contentious and serious elements of any separation case. If you have more at stake in terms of material assets, then you must not dilly dally and get the service of a lawyer at once.
  1. Is your spouse demanding spousal support or do you need it? Once you are able to confirm that spousal support will be demanded from you then it is important that you are properly guided by an experienced and competent lawyer. The same is true if you are the one in need of spousal support. Spousal Support usually presents a lot of uncertainties and courts will come up with differing positions and rulings for separation cases that have relatively the same merits. It is important that you get a fair shake from the courts in as far as spousal support is concerned.
  1. Do you have a personal retirement or a 401(k)? Sometimes deciding how much of this is community or separate can be a daunting task. Usually it takes a forensic accountant to determine the exact amounts.
  1. Do you have a domineering spouse? Lest you will be engulfed and overwhelmed by your spouse during the separation proceedings, it is best that a lawyer will represent you in all your dealing and negotiations.
  1. Is domestic violence an issue? If the situation involves alleged domestic violence, it is incumbent upon the person involved to immediately seek legal advice from a properly trained and experienced lawyer. The veracity of the allegation is not the immediate concern but the prompt access to the expertise of a lawyer as domestic violence can have devastating impact to your case. Domestic violence can also have a huge impact on custody & visitation.

Of course, the above is just a guideline.  It is not all encompassing.  However, with these things in mind, you can now determine the need to hire professional counsel. You can always get a consultation and make your determination after meeting with a respectable and reliable lawyer.  Please feel free to call Mark A. Reed, 858-277-0232 if you have any further questions.

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