Everybody hopes their divorce will end quickly, inexpensively, and peacefully. If you can move through the divorce proceedings with minimal conflict, that is the healthiest approach for everyone involved.
While things are going smoothly, it may be tempting to DIY the divorce. This approach might make sense for younger couples with no children, minimal shared property and no support requests. However, you should always have a divorce lawyer review your paperwork and settlement agreement before it is finalized.
If your divorce case involves any of the following elements, you should obtain legal counsel immediately:
- Anticipated spousal or child support requests
- Complicated financial holdings
- Domestic violence
- Shared business ventures
- Shared property or assets
- Significant differences in earning capacity
Why Hire a Divorce Lawyer?
- Divorce lawyers can help you communicate in a way that prevents conflict
Your current cease-fire is more delicate than you think. Just because there are no issues now, does not mean there won’t be any issues down the road. The stakes of the divorce become very real when both parties start putting commitments down on paper. Even in the lowest-conflict divorce cases, there are moments of miscommunication and weakness. The right divorce lawyer can help both parties share information in a way that prevents conflict and unwanted drama.
- Divorce lawyers can help you stay out of court
Hiring a divorce attorney does not mean your case will automatically be litigated in court. In fact, the opposite is often true. An experienced family lawyer can provide valuable guidance on alternative divorce solutions, including collaborative divorce, arbitration, and mediation. Most couples do not want their final settlement to hinge on the decision of a judge. The right lawyer will transition you through divorce in a way that regains a sense of stability and control over your life.
- Divorce lawyers can help you maintain perspective
Remaining calm and level-headed throughout the divorce process is harder than it seems, especially when there are children involved. A divorce lawyer can help you stay focused on what’s important. While certain events during the proceeding may take you by surprise, this is not your attorney’s first divorce. There is almost nothing they haven’t seen.
- Divorce lawyers can protect your rights (and safety)
When you are in uncharted territory, you don’t know what you don’t know. That’s what makes DIY divorce so risky. An experienced divorce lawyer protects your rights in ways that might not have even occurred to you. In cases of domestic violence, a survivor may not be able to negotiate freely with their ex-spouse. In this case, a lawyer can negotiate on your behalf in a way that preserves your emotional health and physical safety.
- Divorce lawyers have a helpful network of professionals
Established divorce lawyers have working relationships with the family court system and other divorce lawyers in the area. They have access to a network of key professionals, including financial planners, private investigators, forensic accountants, mental health counselors, process servers and more.
Can We Share an Attorney?
No. A single lawyer representing both sides of a case would be a clear conflict of interest. If you are worried about the financial costs of divorce, consider an alternative dispute resolution method such as mediation or collaborative divorce. Both approaches focus on long-term conflict resolution rather than “winning” the divorce at any cost, and are generally less time consuming and expensive than litigation.
Hire a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer
Selecting the right divorce attorney is a decision that can change the course of your life. Learn more about how to select the right NJ divorce lawyer here.