You’re not just ending one part of your life; you’re starting another chapter. You need to feel secure. You need to be as emotionally ready as possible to start over. You need to build a foundation for the future. Here are 5 ways a good attorney will help you meet those goals.
1. You Get What You Deserve. And, that’s not a bad thing. If there are complicated decisions to be made – from child custody to credit card debt, you need an expert in your corner. Your state may support a 50/50 split – or not. But, one of you may have a substantially higher income than the other or one person may have brought more debt into the marriage. These are issues where expert advice is invaluable. It’s what a divorce lawyer does. The attorney brings expert knowledge to help you make decisions. He or she knows the laws of your State, understands the many diverse issues that arise during a divorce and can protect your interests.
2. Stay Calm; there’s someone in your corner. Divorces are stressful and they’re more stressful if you’re trying to do it all yourself. Your lawyer will guide you and help gather the information you need. With an attorney handling the details of the divorce, you can be less stressed, calmer and pay attention to the more important things – yourself and your family.
3. Mistakes can be Costly. You must address every issue before the terms are spelled out in the legal divorce papers. The final divorce is just that – final. To change its terms may mean going back to court. If you have underestimated an asset or a debt, you may be stuck with the result. You can cause yourself both emotional and financial harm. The stresses surrounding a divorce make it easy to make a mistake. You may agree to something or give into your spouse’s wishes just because you’re tired and you want the whole situation over. An attorney will protect you from doing something you will later regret.
4. Count on an Attorney; not the court. Of course, the court reviews all the documents you present, but will those documents add up to the result you want. Have you stated your wishes clearly? Your attorney will make sure that the “I’s” are dotted and the “T’s” are crossed and that the final decree and settlement clearly states the terms of the divorce to avoid future confusion.
5. Delays are Costly. Often, they cost you both in time and money. Courts follow a prescribed order and calendar. If you don’t provide the proper legal forms and all needed information, you may end up having the decree delayed. A lawyer can complete a divorce as quickly as the law allows.
Don’t go it alone. Take advantage of the free meetings many experienced divorce attorneys offer. Find one who makes you feel at east. If costs are your concern, see if the attorney offers either a payment plan or a flat fee – or, better yet, both. The money you save by trying to do it yourself can all be lost with just a single error in understanding how debt and assets will be divided or a single error in judgement about what you need and what the courts will allow. Get the advice of an expert attorney and be ready to start over on a firm foundation.