I'm often asked "Do I need an attorney for a divorce?" For some people the answer is probably not. If it's a short term marriage, there are no joint debts, no joint assets, no children and somebody understands the paperwork and the process to get the paperwork through the court, then you don't need an attorney. But for many people the answer is probably yes. There are lots of risks associated with representing yourself throughout a divorce.
One risk is maybe you don't understand the law. So you don't really understand the terms that are used, the things that are required, or the things that are not allowed. Maybe you don't understand the legal documents that are required to get the divorce through the process in the courts. Maybe you don't understand that actual process itself such as what steps happen first, what steps happen next, and how you proceed through the divorce process.
One of the biggest risks is that if you mess something up in that process, either the judge won't grant the divorce or the judge grants the divorce and you have all kinds of problems after the divorce that you can't change. An attorney knows those things and can help keep you out of trouble and get you through the process.
For example, if you make mistakes in a parenting plan your life can be awful after the divorce is over. And you'll just have to live with that unless you have to go back to court and actually modify it.
Maybe you don't understand retirement plans, How to divide that up can be tricky even for attorneys because you need a special court order to split up some retirement plans.
If you have a complicated financial situation then an attorney may have dealt with something similar in the past. The attorney may have some ideas for you on how to move forward and divide things up and how to get it through the court system.
If you're not sure what assets and debts your partner has an attorney knows the process to get that information.
Sometimes people are so emotional that they can't even think straight. Then they are likely to make mistakes. Or sometimes they're so eager to get a divorce done that they might need an attorney to slow things down. You really need to think about and investigate things to avoid making costly mistakes. Because there are things that once they're final in a divorce, they're final. You can not go back and change them.
And an attorney can be a buffer between you and your spouse if you can't talk or get along but you still need to exchange information, documents, or negotiate a resolution.
So really, it depends on your situation. Maybe you should have a consultation with an attorney, to discuss your particular issues and see if you do need an attorney.
If you would like more information check out my YouTube channel for other divorce and family law videos.
Nedra. K. Howard PC, a law firm where families matter.
Nedra K. Howard
Nedra has represented clients in matters relating to divorce, separate maintenance, child custody and support, family violence protective orders, adoption, prenuptial agreements, business disputes and litigation, personal injury, property damage, and wills.
John B. MIller & Associates, P.C.
16 Eastbrook Bend, Suite 201
Peachtree City, GA 30269
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770 - 863 - 8355