Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday Tips: Don't Try to Do-It-Yourself Without Your Own Attorney!

In these days with a contagious "do-it-yourself" attitude about so many things, many people have taken that approach to getting divorced.  That may be a mistake, unless it is a very short marriage, with little or no assets, and no kids.

Part of the motivation is to save money.  That's understandable, but keep in mind that you don't have to hire a high-priced lawyer to get good representation.  For smaller estates and parent-child issues, and even for more complicated estates,  younger, less-expensive attorneys can be fully capable of providing quality representation for you.  Just because an attorney charges a higher fee, that doesn't guarantee quality and doesn't mean that attorney is a good match for you.

So you can hire a good attorney and not break the bank. Should you hire an attorney or just go all out to save the money and do it yourself?

If any of these conditions exist, you should probably have an attorney assist you in resolving your divorce:
  • You have children with the spouse.
  • You or your spouse have retirement assets.
  • You have investments.
  • You have a house, with positive equity or negative equity.
  • You have significant debts.
  • You have been married for at least several years.
There are many different ways to handle those issues and you may not even realize the significance of some matters.  There are lots of rules in Family Law. It may not be easy to translate your ideas into legally-acceptable court orders.  If orders aren't drawn properly, they may not be enforceable.  You may lose all rights to some things if you don't deal with them correctly.

Don't assume that common sense applies to the law.

At the very least, you  should have a consultation with an attorney (or several) to check out your options and what their consequences are.  It may save you money in the long run.

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