6 Reasons | Why Hire a Divorce Attorney?
If you want a divorce, you may decide to attempt the process yourself using Internet or court provided forms.
Do-it-yourself divorce – may be possible in some situations where you’ve only been married months, do not have a mortgage, investments or any assets that would be considered community property, and of course: no children. Other than those limited situations, people seeking a divorce should consider hiring an attorney to represent their interests. There are several reasons why having an attorney is important.
Unfortunately, people who file a “do it yourself” divorce often make mistakes that result in long delays, dismissals, and unfortunate court decisions about support, custody or property that do not favor them — but actually hurt them. Forever. Because the California legal process is so complicated, it is in your best interest to be represented by a highly experienced divorce and family law attorney.
Unequal and Unfair Advantage
If your spouse has an attorney and you do not, it is highly likely that your spouse will obtain better results than you do. Hire a lawyer! Joint representation is not per se ethically prohibited in California, but generally speaking, you should never consider “sharing” a lawyer with your spouse in a family law action.
Expert Practical and Legal Advice
An experienced divorce attorney can help a person seeking a divorce make certain that he or she receives everything entitled to. State laws do not guarantee that you will receive an even split of assets depending on your situation. A spouse is often entitled to retirement or other income that the other spouse is scheduled to receive in future years. If your marriage has any complicated property division matters, an attorney can often earn his or her fee just by helping you make an real and fair valuation and subsequent division. If there are any issues such as (a) spousal support, (b) child custody and child support, (c) steady income, (d) various debts, (e) home, other property, cars, and other assets, (f) a future inheritance, then you should hire an attorney to protect your interests in a divorce proceeding.
Divorce is one of the 5 major
**life events: (1) Death of a loved one, (2) Divorce, (3) Moving, (4) Major Illness, (5) Job Loss ]
Avoid Costly Mistakes — “Do-Overs” are Expensive
Attempting to do your own divorce without a lawyer can be expensive — especially in California. It is more expensive to fix a mistake later than to do it right in the first place. And sometimes things simply can’t be changed once a court order is entered. People doing their own divorce often make several mistakes along the way as the legal system is complicated and the added stress of your divorce makes it difficult to think objectively. For example, if you mistakenly overlook medical bills or other debt, or you underestimate or overestimate the value of an asset, the mistake can end up costing you dearly. Wanting to “fix” an overlooked item that would benefit you in the future can cost thousands of dollars and may be unsuccessful.
There are often NO DO-OVERS! – By hiring an attorney, you can rest assured that your case is being properly handled correctly the first time and you will avoid costly mistakes that you might regret for the rest of your life.
Clear and Binding Divorce Agreement
Though a court will review any divorce documents that you present if doing your divorce yourself, the court may not understand exactly what you are trying to accomplish on each step of the case. This often results in a divorce decree that states something other than what you intended. By using a divorce attorney who works with the courts and the judges on a daily basis for years –if not decades– you can be certain that the legal documents presented to the court will accurately state your wishes and that the divorce decree will be free of errors or unclear language that can result in parts of the agreement becoming hard to enforce.
Though a do-it-yourself person may use court approved documents to file for divorce, there are often problems in completing the proper forms and providing the court the adequate information and documentation necessary for a smooth proceeding. Going to court without legal counsel and with problematic paperwork often result in a delay in the court’s ruling. This usually ads substantially weeks of delay to the date that your divorce will be final. By hiring a divorce attorney, you will have an expert on your team and you will avoid the paperwork and other problems that can cause troublesome delays.
Free Introductory Meeting
I encourage you to reach out to make that free introductory meeting with me by calling (714) 395-5669. There is absolutely no pressure whatsoever. Typically, people will want to sit down with a divorce attorney to discuss their current circumstance and to learn of their options. I am pleased to offer this complementary legal service to residents of Orange County and beyond.
If it is late at night or inconvenient to call me, please email me using my CONTACT US form on the left side of the screen. This form comes directly to my desk. I will contact you the minute I see it.