Many spouses, when getting divorced, wonder: Do I need an attorney? After all, many people get divorced without an attorney. There are numerous websites, including my own website, that offer free divorce forms for anyone to use.
However, every divorce is different, and in your case, you may need an attorney. In this post, I will explain some benefits of hiring a divorce attorney.
1. An Attorney Can See Your Case Objectively
Divorce cases are very emotional, and you probably won’t be able to see the situation clearly yourself. You will likely need an impartial person, who can objectively assess the situation, and will be able to recommend the best course of action for you to take. I have had many clients who were so emotionally caught up in the antagonism of their case, that the action they were proposing to take, would have resulted in disaster for themselves and their children.
2. You May Be Too Emotional to Represent Yourself in Court
For the same reason, if you go into a courtroom, and represent yourself, you may be so emotionally invested in the case that you will “fly off the handle” and erupt into an outburst of anger in the courtroom. This will hurt your case, and, if your behavior is bad enough, the judge may sentence you to jail for contempt of court. I’ve seen it happen!
3. It is Often Easier for a Lawyer to Discuss Your Case with Your Spouse
If you try to settle a divorce case out of court, it’s often easier for a lawyer to discuss your case with your spouse (or your spouse’s lawyer) than it is for you to discuss your case with your spouse or her lawyer. This, also, is because of the high level of emotion in divorce cases. Many divorcing spouses are unable to be civil with each other (which is why they got divorced to begin with.) I’ve had many divorcing spouses call me, and say that they can’t discuss the case with their ex. Then, I give the ex a call, and we are able to work out an agreeable solution. The ex will talk civilly and reasonably to me, but not to their spouse.
4. A Divorce Lawyer Can Inform You of Your Rights
Divorce law can be very complicated. In divorces, many other areas of law – including constitutional law, tax law, contract law, even international law – often apply. In your divorce, you likely have important rights that you don’t know about. Without a lawyer, you may miss out on important benefits that you never knew were available.
5. A Lawyer Will Protect You from being Unfairly Taken Advantage Of
For similar reasons, a divorce lawyer can protect you from being unfairly taken advantage of. If your spouse has hired a lawyer, it would be easy for your spouse’s lawyer to deal with you unfairly. Even if your spouse has not hired a lawyer, your spouse may know certain laws that would help him take advantage of you. Or, your spouse may secretly be obtaining advice from a lawyer or other competent person.
Hire an Attorney for Your Divorce
To anyone who has the choice, and can afford an attorney, I would say: get an attorney for your divorce. Even if an attorney would be expensive, if you don’t hire one, and you make a mistake, the mistake could cost you more than an attorney would. Protect your children – and protect yourself.
Attorney Kyle Persaud is the founder of Persaud Law Office based in Bartlesville, OK where he has years of experience assisting clients in cases of divorce and separation. Mr. Persaud holds a B.A. from Oklahoma Wesleyan University and a J.D. from the University of Tulsa College of Law.