Is your marriage on the rocks and is no longer working? Are you contemplating divorce? Don’t worry; getting a divorce is not the end of life or happiness.

According to research, the divorce population in Washington is around 12%. There are many people whose marriages haven’t worked and have opted to separate rather than lead a miserable life.

Unfortunately, the divorce process can be overwhelming and emotionally exhausting. Some couples part ways amicably without needing to involve lawyers or the courts. However, in some cases, you need legal representation to maneuver the divorce and come to a settlement.

How do you know you need to hire a lawyer for a divorce in Spokane Washington? Keep reading to find out the five top signs.

1. You’re Not in Good Terms with Your Spouse

Some couples file a petition and negotiate a divorce and all issues surrounding it without involving an attorney. However, this is only possible if you are in good terms with your partner and are both focused on making the divorce work.

However, this is not always the case. In most instances, one party is usually unwilling to have a sit-down and discuss the divorce. This is usually true when there have been instances of cheating, abuse, neglect, and irreconcilable differences in the marriage.

If you’re dealing with these issues and are unable to have a sober conversation with your spouse, it’s a good idea to hire a divorce attorney. The attorney will not only be the intermediary between you and your partner, but they will also protect your interests in the case.

2. There are Young Children Involved in the Divorce

When you’ve had children with your partner, the divorce isn’t just about the two of you. You need to cater to the interests of the children as well, especially those that are under 18 years.

Issues of child support, custody, and visitation cause strife and disagreement among divorcing couples. You have to address the following:

Who will be the primary custodian of the kids?

Will there be joint or sole custody?

How will you implement child support?

What’s the visitation arrangement for the parent who won’t receive custody?

How will you both parent the kids while not living together?

Are there any rules that you’ll enforce regarding visitation, vacations, and out-of-the-country travels?

Due to the complexities surrounding child custody, parents who can’t agree on these issues should seek legal counsel. An attorney can advise on how to resolve custody issues and help you prepare the parenting plan.

If both parties are still in disagreement, an attorney files the case in court. They represent your interests and argue the facts in your favor to ensure the case spins in your favor.

3. You’re in a Common Law Marriage

A common law marriage is an informal marriage. There are no legal documents certifying your union. The state of Washington does not recognize common law marriages; however, it does recognize committed intimate relationships, which are like common law marriages. And it will enforce marriages that other states have recognized.

Now, if you’re in a common law marriage from another state, have acquired property, and had kids, dissolving it can be difficult. There’s a chance one party may try to take advantage of the other in matters of financial interests, child custody, and spousal support.

Since the courts cannot dissolve the union, you may want to hire an attorney and consider amicable dissolution. When both parties get legal representation, you can come to an agreement on how to separate, divide property, handle finances, and cater to the children after the separation.

4. You Can’t Agree on Property Division

Property division is one of the most complex issues in divorce cases. This is usually the case when:

One or both parties acquired property before the marriage

Both parties acquired assets in the marriage

Both parties have joint ventures such as businesses and investments

Issues surrounding how to divide property can cause disagreements and strife between parties. In some cases, a selfish partner may start to rearrange assets and move money and property from marital accounts to other places. This is usually in an attempt to lower the number of assets subject to property division.

If you suspect your spouse wants to misrepresent the marital property, you should hire an attorney immediately. Divorce attorneys have resources to track assets and ensure fair distribution.

If you can’t agree on how to divide your assets, the attorney files the case in court and fights to ensure your financial interests are safeguarded during and after the divorce.

5. You Have Little Understanding of Divorce Law

Getting a divorce requires some understanding of the law, especially if there are complex issues such as the following:

  • Infidelity in marriage
  • Child support and custody
  • Alimony
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Blended family structure (kids from other marriages, more than two adults, etc.)

The law varies from one state to another, and for you to safeguard your interests, you need to know what it says regarding these matters. For example, in Washington, cheating is not enough grounds to deny a spouse child custody.

Similarly, the court can award child support to an unemployed parent. Thus, you cannot use unemployment or unfaithfulness as your bargaining chips in a divorce case.

Since you don’t understand the complexities of divorce law, it is wise to hire a lawyer. Divorce lawyers have an in-depth understanding of the law. They know what you can and cannot use to safeguard your interests in the case.

When Should You Hire a Lawyer for Divorce?

Ideally, if you are the one filing a divorce petition, you should get a lawyer before filing the petition. The attorney walks you through the process, files the petition for you, and even serves your spouse with the papers.

However, if you are on the receiving end of the petition, hire a divorce attorney immediately after receiving the divorce papers from your spouse. Don’t wait to have disagreements with your spouse to find legal representation.

Getting a lawyer immediately also safeguards your interests from the start. It prevents the other party from making moves that could hurt your parenting and financial future.

Need a Divorce Attorney in Spokane, WA?

If your marriage is not working and you’re faced with a divorce, don’t walk alone. A lawyer not only handles the divorce process but also gives you the much-needed emotional support.

Do you need a lawyer for divorce in Spokane, WA? Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.