Do I Really Need An Attorney To Get Divorced?
I get the question every so often: “Do I really need an attorney for my divorce?”. The short answer is no, no you don’t. You can do it yourself. However, it is a risk; and if you take that risk, what could potentially happen, is you could be one of the clients that come back to me later saying, “I really messed up,” or “I didn’t get the outcome that I was looking for, and now I need you to go back and refight it.” That becomes very difficult, as we then have to go back and figure out what went wrong, why it went wrong, and what can be done to fix it – if it can be fixed at all. So, I recommend doing it right the first time, and taking the time to invest in your future.
When you get divorced, you are inevitably leaving one life behind for another, and typically, it also means you’ve already decided to take the first steps towards having a better future, and you want to continue that moving forward. Divorce is a long and complicated road to travel alone, and there are a lot of forks in the path ahead that will force you to make difficult decisions; and it is critical that you make those decisions from a place of confidence and knowledge -and that is where an attorney typically comes in. It’s our job to ensure that you understand what happens next with each decision you make, and that each step of the process is consistently building towards a strong foundation for your future.
But in the case, you decided, for whatever reason, that hiring an attorney is not for you, there are other options available. A lot will depend on how you file for your divorce. You can file as a no-fault or fault divorce, and it can be contested or uncontested. The easiest divorce to file on your own, is an uncontested divorce, as it would mean that both parties also agree to the terms of the divorce. Obviously, making it much easier to file on your own. And a contested divorce would mean that one person disagrees with the divorce, or the terms of the divorce, making it more difficult to file and resolve by yourself. So, in those cases, where you would like that extra help and don’t want to go it alone, there are other options. You can potentially hire a mediator, or an arbitrator, depending on the issues within your case, to help you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse come to an agreement. The difference between each being that, a mediator will listen and persuade parties to come to an agreement, whereas an arbitrator will listen, consider evidence, and issue a binding legal judgement to resolve the dispute. Now matter what the circumstances are, legal counsel can always be helpful, because at the end of the day you will have someone in your corner to coach you through all the challenging moments ahead.
So, if you are questioning whether or not you need an attorney, it is probably in your best interest to reach out to one, whether that is us or another firm, and talk about your options. Not every case needs an attorney, but I do fully believe in the saying “it is better to be safe than sorry” and when it comes to your future, you should always invest in the best.