Emily Chambers for CoilLaw
You may be hesitant to hire an attorney because you feel like you don’t have the money, or you think you can work it out yourself. Those may both be true, but there are many reasons why not having representation during a divorce is just a bad idea.
For example, without counsel:
- Most people actually end up spending more money in the long run, fixing things that could’ve been prevented in the first place and later needing to modify the original decree of divorce.
- You may end up being held accountable for things you didn’t realize you were responsible for, such as taxes on the sale of a house, if sold when parties are single as opposed to married.
- Many don’t understand their legal rights and therefore get the short straw during negotiation, later regretting how assets or parent time got finalized.
Attorneys can often save you money, knowing and sharing insight with you about tax and other laws, and helping you come up with all the paperwork and financial documents you will need to submit during any divorce. If you withhold any assets–even unknowingly because you’re not working with an expert–and the court finds out, you will look dishonest to them and they will likely not believe you in other situations, perhaps causing the court decisions to not go your way.
In addition, it can’t be understated the peace of mind you will get if you don’t have to represent yourself. The paperwork, deadlines, and court hearings can be stressful and daunting, especially when you’re already in a time of emotional instability. If things get heated between you and your spouse, the attorneys can be the line of communication so you don’t have to work directly with your spouse during those times.
If you really are considering not hiring an attorney, and you think you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can work through most logistics and you feel you can stand up for yourself, it is advised you at least use an attorney to draft the documents to ensure that they are legally binding and are drafted to offer you the upmost protection.
In summary, trying to settle a divorce without legal counsel is only advised if you and your spouse are in agreeance on all issues, including property and debt division, custody, parent time, and child support–which most times isn’t the case. You will also need to be willing to spend quite a lot of time researching and familiarizing yourself with state laws and court filings, paperwork, and appearances. Even then, plan for the possibility of spending money later to fix it if it wasn’t right the first time.
It’s important to remember that Divorces and custody battles can affect you the rest of your life if not done properly. Hiring an attorney can offer you that protection to ensure that you and your families future is protected.
At CoilLaw, LLC, a family law firm in Salt Lake City, our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with all manners of divorce and custody and we are here to help you, giving you peace of mind, and getting it done right the first time. Please do not hesitate to call Salt Lake City divorce attorney Jill L. Coil today at (801) 876-5808 to learn more.