If you are facing the prospect of divorce, you may wonder if you should hire an attorney or simply represent yourself in the proceedings. Before you choose to carry the whole load on your shoulders, you may want to consider some of the advantages of having an attorney represent your interests.
One reason for hiring a divorce lawyer is that he or she has a wealth of knowledge about the divorce process that you likely do not have. This knowledge extends beyond how the court system works. An experienced divorce lawyer is better prepared to handle many of the routine aspects of a divorce, which can spare you a great deal of emotional distress.
For example, if your divorce should prove particularly acrimonious, it is quite probable that your soon-to-be ex will have his or her own legal representation. In such a situation, you could be at a decided disadvantage when trying to negotiate a settlement. On the other hand, if you have your own attorney, you are on a much more equal footing. Your attorney can keep you out of the fray and work toward getting you fair settlement terms.
Your attorney can provide other services as well, such as conducting an investigation of your ex-spouse's finances in an effort to uncover any hidden assets. Such an investigation could reveal how much wealth your ex-spouse truly possesses and where the wealth is located. This, in turn, could result in your receiving a more equitable share of the marital assets.
Finally, a divorce attorney typically understands how to effectively negotiate child support and child custody terms. These are often very contentious issues and having an attorney represent your interests can help keep the situation from becoming too heated. This will make things easier both on you and your children.
So while it is certainly your prerogative to attempt to work out the details of your divorce on your own, you still may want to consult with an attorney before doing so. Going through a divorce is challenging, regardless of the circumstances. Having someone on your side could pay off both financially and emotionally.