Deciding When It Is Time to Hire a Family Law Attorney for Your Divorce

Divorce attorneys are always brought in after an agreement on divorce is reached by both parties. However, sometimes it becomes important for people to hire a divorce attorney even before an agreement on divorce is final. An attorney has the ability to take complete control of a case and to ensure that all legal rights are protected after the divorce. The decision to hire a divorce attorney could be a difficult one considering that you need to pay for attorney fees which you will not be reimbursed after the divorce is settled.

Uncontested Divorce

You don't really know what an uncontested divorce is. An uncontested divorce is when you agree on all issues, including asset distribution and child custody. If you think that your spouse will agree with everything that is in the divorce papers and will sign them without any changes, then it's possible that you could handle your own uncontested divorce. If there is a chance that your spouse will contest any part of the process, then it's in your best interest to hire an attorney to represent you.

Contested Divorce

Contested divorces are often more complicated than uncontested ones because a judge has to determine the outcome. Sometimes, it is obvious what the best decision is for both spouses. In other cases, the spouses will fight over everything from the marital home to who gets the family dog. In these situations, they may need to hire attorneys so that they can be protected when they go into court.

If you cannot afford an attorney for a contested divorce, there are some legal aid organizations that can help you. These organizations offer free or low-cost representation for people who meet certain income requirements. 

Property Division and Division of Assets

If you have property, high assets, or other assets that will be divided, then it is a good idea to have an attorney. If there is not any risk of your spouse hiding assets or refusing to give up assets that he or she owns, then you can probably handle the division of assets yourself. If, however, you suspect that your spouse may try to hide assets or claim more than his or her fair share during the divorce proceedings, then hiring an attorney will be worthwhile.

Child Custody and Support Issues

Divorcing your spouse can be especially difficult if you have children. If you and your spouse have a child together, you likely want to make sure that you are granted custody of the child. If you have minor children, consider hiring an attorney as soon as possible.

If your children are minors, then one of the first issues that will need to be resolved during your divorce is child custody. You may not think that this issue is problematic at first because you and your spouse may agree on most of the important issues regarding your children. However, it can become very difficult to reach an agreement with your spouse if you begin to disagree about other aspects of the divorce. Therefore, it's a good idea for you to hire an attorney who can help protect your rights regarding child custody.

Additionally, suppose you live in a state where child custody laws favor mothers over fathers. In that case, it's even more important for a father to hire an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that he retains custody of his children if he desires so.

Hiring a divorce attorney is an important part of the divorce process. Contact a family law attorney to get the legal help you need when dealing with divorce.