divorce attorney

How Do You Know You Need to Hire a Divorce Lawyer?

Divorce is never easy, but it is something that roughly 40% of married individuals will face at some point. The process can be complicated, with a lot of paperwork and research involved, even in the simplest of divorce proceedings. If you don’t cross every T and dot every I, things can go wrong quickly, especially if you and your partner are not amicably divorcing. 

Hiring a qualified and experienced divorce attorney is one way to ensure that you are represented fairly and equally during the proceedings. You may be tempted to forego an attorney to handle the process yourself, but there are many circumstances in which this isn’t a good idea. 

This guide will help you determine whether hiring an attorney is your best option. 

What Does a Divorce Attorney Do? 

A divorce attorney is someone with ample knowledge of marital and family law. They can help you navigate legal proceedings, especially in cases with complicating factors such as child custody, alimony, or prenuptial agreements. An attorney can also assist in situations where one spouse was unfaithful or if there was abuse within the marriage. 

Even if your divorce is expected to be an amicable one, having an attorney ensures that these issues are correctly resolved and filed with the courts during and after your divorce. This helps to avoid any conflict later. 

When to Hire a Divorce Attorney

Although it’s always a good idea to have legal counsel, there are some situations in which hiring a divorce attorney is crucial to ensure a good outcome. These can include: 

  1. When children are involved – If you have children, even if not all of them are the product of this marriage, you will want to hire an attorney. Custody disputes are more likely to turn ugly than virtually any other. Each partner should have a divorce attorney to ensure their interests are represented. The children may also need a legal representative to determine their best interests. 
  2. When there are substantial assets – Assets acquired during the marriage are often a matter of dispute, with both spouses having rights to any money, property, and other valuables acquired during the marriage. In some cases, a spouse may be entitled to assets acquired before the marriage, or they may be entitled to alimony payments. Figuring out who is entitled to what can be difficult to determine without legal aid. 
  3. When the filing spouse has an attorney – If your spouse has already filed for divorce and has an attorney, then you will want to acquire a legal representation of your own. Keep in mind that your spouse’s attorney works in their best interest. They will not work toward yours. You will need to hire your legal aid to have someone in your corner. 
  4. When there was infidelity or abuse in the marriage – Claims of unfaithfulness or spousal abuse are serious. Whether you are the one making the claims or having them leveled against you, an attorney can help you settle them during divorce negotiations. A spouse who has been wronged may have certain entitlements. 
  5. When there are pre-marital contracts involved – Having a prenuptial agreement adds complications to some proceedings, especially if there are situations in which the contract may be voided or upheld. An attorney will understand any nuances in the law to ensure a fair negotiation of these agreements. 
  6. When it’s a common law marriage – Most states have some version of common law marriage recognition, though they may go by another name in some locations. Since the state doesn’t legally recognize your marriage, it cannot be dissolved in the same way. When there are disputes on the property, child custody, and other complex issues within this type of relationship, an attorney can help you navigate the legalities of separating under unconventional circumstances. 
  7. When the divorce isn’t amicable – Divorces tend to turn nasty very quickly. There can be a lot of finger-pointing and arguing over virtually every aspect of the separation. Even if you and your spouse are on friendly terms, the process can still become tense or heated during ongoing negotiations. 
  8. When one spouse is no longer in-state, divorce proceedings can become more challenging to navigate if you or your spouse have moved to another state. An attorney will help you work your way through any legal implications the move may have caused during proceedings. 

Let The Professionals Help You with Your Divorce 

Divorces get messy. You need an experienced divorce attorney who is an expert in family law—someone who will help you set realistic goals—someone that you trust.

Whether you’re filing for divorce or have been served divorce papers, you may feel like your world has come crashing down around you. It’s a very vulnerable and confusing place to be in, which is why you need the best legal counsel possible to navigate all the ins and outs of divorce law.

Attorney Hunter Fowler has provided legal services to many individuals in your precise situation and will work with you through every detail of your divorce proceedings to ensure the final outcome is what you want for yourself and your family. Contact Hunter Fowler today to get the legal counsel you deserve.