Every year, more than 2 million marriages take place in the U.S. Over 827,000 divorces take place as well.
Are you currently going through a divorce? If so, you might have a lot of questions about the process. For example, you may be wondering, “Do I need a lawyer for divorce?”
If you’re not sure if you need to hire a lawyer to handle your divorce, keep reading.
This brief guide will teach you everything you need to know to answer this question for yourself.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer
There are lots of benefits that come with hiring a qualified divorce lawyer to handle your case. The following are some of the primary reasons why you ought to get a lawyer on your side:
A divorce lawyer has the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure you’re protected as you go through your divorce.
They will make sure you’re not taken advantage of during the process. This is especially important if your ex has hired a lawyer. Trying to defend yourself without legal help will be more challenging in these situations.
A lawyer can also teach you more about the law in your state and make sure you know what to expect from the divorce proceedings.
Protect Your Custody Rights
If you hire a divorce lawyer, you’ll have a better chance of retaining custody of your children.
When you have a good lawyer on your side, they will work hard to gather evidence and find witnesses who can testify on your behalf and show the judge that you are a suitable guardian for your children.
A lawyer will also keep your children’s best interests in mind and make sure they are protected from the stress of a divorce.
Speed Things Up
A divorce can take an incredibly long time, especially if you and your ex are going back and forth arguing about asset division or custody issues.
When you have a lawyer on your side, they can help to simplify and speed up the process and wrap things up more quickly.
In most cases, when you hire a divorce lawyer, you can reach a settlement much faster and move on with your life.
If you want to get your divorce over with as soon as possible — and who doesn’t? — hiring a lawyer is the way to go.
Handle the Paperwork
The paperwork involved in a divorce in and of itself is enough to drag the process out way longer than it needs to be.
If you’re trying to sort through all the paperwork on your own, you’re setting yourself up for a headache and a lot of time trying to sort through legal jargon.
A lawyer has lots of experience going through these kinds of documents, and they’ll be able to handle them for you. They can explain what’s being said in simple terms and will make sure all your I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.
Sometimes, communicating with your ex can seem downright impossible when you’re in the middle of a divorce.
If you’re having a hard time having amicable conversations with your ex, a lawyer can make things a lot easier.
Your lawyer can communicate with your ex’s lawyer and minimize the amount of time you two have to spend together.
Finally, a lawyer can provide you with objective advice and simplify the decision-making process.
Going through a divorce is stressful and emotional, and your decision-making abilities might not be as sharp as they normally are.
If you have a lawyer on your side, they can give you helpful advice and share options that you might not have thought of on your own.
When you hire a lawyer, you’ll have a much easier time deciding what’s best for you and your children in the long-term.
So, Do I Need a Lawyer for Divorce?
Technically, you do not need a lawyer when you’re going through a divorce. A lawyer will make the process much easier, though, especially if you have children or a lot of marital assets.
Having a lawyer on your side will increase your chances of being able to retain custody of your children. They’ll also ensure that your assets are divided fairly between you and your ex.
If none of these things apply to you, you may be able to get through your divorce without legal representation.
Most people find that it’s better to work with a lawyer, though. If nothing else, a lawyer can help you get through all the divorce paperwork and provide support while you wrap things up.
Hiring the Right Divorce Lawyer
If you’ve decided that it’s in your best interests to hire a divorce lawyer, your next job is to make sure you’re hiring the right person for the job. There are more than 75,000 divorce lawyers in the U.S., but they’re definitely not all created equal.
If you need help choosing a divorce lawyer to handle your case, keep these tips in mind:
- Learn their specialty and make sure they have lots of experience handling divorces and practicing family law
- Ask about their strategy for your case and what the anticipated outcome is
- Clarify their fees and payment schedule before you agree to work with them
- Find out who, specifically, will be handling your case
Pay attention to how easily you can get in touch with the lawyer before you agree to work with them, too. Do they return your calls quickly, or does it take a few days for you to hear back from them?
Work with a Lawyer Today
If you’ve been asking yourself, “Do I need a lawyer for divorce?” hopefully, you now have a bit more clarity on the issue.
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer on your side to help you navigate that process and stay sane while going through this difficult time.
Are you ready to hire a divorce lawyer?
If you’re located in the Spokane, Tri-Cities, Walla Walla, or Tri-Cities areas of Washington state, contact us at Pacific Northwest Family Law today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you with your case.