Divorce can be a very stressful time where you have a lot of things to consider when terminating your marriage. From dividing marital property to creating a solid co-parenting foundation, the process can be overwhelming, especially with all the steps involved in the legal process.
Hiring a trusted divorce attorney can make a positive difference in your experience, no matter how simple or complex your specific situation is. Even when you think that you can do it on your own to save time and money, working with a lawyer offers many benefits that can alleviate the stress and difficulties of divorce proceedings.
#1 Your Attorney Has a Detailed Understanding of Your State’s Marital and Family Laws
Although you may have a general idea of the divorce requirements and process in the state where you reside, marital and family laws can be complex. Your divorce attorney can educate you on all aspects of the process, whether you and your spouse choose to pursue an uncontested divorce or go to trial. Even a simple case may not be as straightforward as you first think, and your lawyer can review proposed agreements or accompany you at every court hearing.
In particular cases such as a high-asset divorce or a military divorce that presents additional specificities, an experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate the process.
#2 Your Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Rights and Interests
Even if you and your spouse are getting an amicable divorce, you should still hire a lawyer to protect your rights and assets. Even if both parties are well-meaning, you can benefit from an attorney reviewing your proposed agreement to make sure that it is fair to everyone.
If you share minor children, your attorney can also help draft and/or review your proposed parenting plan to ensure they are in the child’s best interests. This step can help secure a judge’s approval for your desired child's physical and legal custody, visitation arrangements, child support, and any other aspect of your parenting plan that you want to be incorporated into the court order.
If you and your spouse choose mediation to resolve issues outside of the courtroom or are going to trial, your attorney plays an important role in protecting your rights and future. Their keen understanding of the law and the court system helps you find appropriate solutions to reach your goals and create a positive future.
#3 Your Divorce Attorney Can Recommend Options You Did Not Think About
In certain cases, you may be unsure of what type of divorce to pursue or what solutions you and your spouse have to find common ground and reach mutually beneficial agreements. One of the benefits of hiring a divorce attorney is that they bring an objective and “big picture” point of view to your situation.
Maybe you did not consider mediation or arbitration but were looking for a way to keep your negotiations private. Maybe your situation gets worse when you start with an uncontested divorce process and your lawyer explains how you can change the terms of the divorce and opt for litigation.
If you and your spouse struggle to agree on the distribution of your marital assets or on creating your parenting plan, your lawyer can suggest options to reach an agreement.
#4 Your Lawyer Can Help You Fill Out and Submit All the Necessary Paperwork Accurately
Any type of divorce involves a significant number of forms and documents to provide for the process to move forward. Your lawyer can walk you through each form and explains what exact supporting documents you need to provide, such as financial disclosures. They can also help you meet all necessary deadlines to minimize complications. If you are going through a military divorce that differs from a civilian one, hiring an attorney can be especially helpful to simplify the process for both parties.
#5 Your Lawyer Can Assist You in Both Out of the Courtroom Negotiations and Litigation
Whether you and your spouse choose to resolve all aspects of your divorce outside of the courtroom, including through mediation, or go to trial, a reputable divorce attorney can provide counsel and representation at every stage of the process. Even if you avoid litigation, professional legal advice can ensure that the proceedings unfold as they should and can help you address all aspects in an effective and timely manner, which helps you move on with your life.
#6 You Suffered Domestic Violence from Your Spouse
If your spouse has a history of domestic violence with your or any children in your household, you should hire a lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced family law attorney can help you petition for a protective order to support you and your loved ones.
A lawyer can also help minimize your interaction with your abusive spouse if you worry about intimidation or retaliation during the process. In such cases, litigation is generally the safest option. Your attorney can help present evidence of your spouse’s violent behavior to the court to advocate for your interests.
#7 You Suspect Your Spouse is Hiding Assets
When getting a divorce, both spouses must fully disclose their individual assets so the judge can fairly distribute their marital property. In certain cases, one spouse may suspect the other is concealing assets due to certain warning signs like living above their means or unexplained expensive purchases.
If you suspect this type of behavior from your spouse, your attorney can help you begin the discovery process where a court may request the other party to provide all financial information, including the value of all property they own separately. This can make a significant difference in the share of marital assets you receive during the proceedings.
If you are considering divorce in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, or the Denver Metro Area, contact Clawson & Clawson, LLP, today at (719) 602-5888 to schedule a consultation!