No one enters into a marriage planning on getting divorced. Divorce law is complex and requires following a specific legal process that can take as little as a few months but as long as a few years depending on the circumstances surrounding the relationship and divorce proceedings. While you may be tempted to save some money by considering representing yourself instead of hiring a divorce attorney, most people find the divorce process time consuming and confusing and are grateful to have the assistance of an experienced family lawyer. There are many significant decisions to make when getting divorced that will affect the rest of you and your family’s lives. Divorce can also be incredibly emotional and may overwhelm your ability to think clearly. The following are the top five reasons for hiring a divorce attorney:
1. A divorce attorney focuses on matrimonial law and practices in family court.
Individuals seeking a divorce who represent themselves in court are not given any special treatment and are held to the same standards as the attorney for the other side. If that person is not familiar with matrimonial law or how family court is run, the judge may lose their patience which could make them less sympathetic. Divorce attorneys use their extensive knowledge and experience to advocate for their clients using the correct legal terminology, appropriate paperwork, and proper courtroom protocols and procedures. Trying to represent yourself increases the likelihood of jeopardizing your entire case and potentially losing custody of children, spousal support, or ownership of a home.
2. Divorce attorneys provide objective advice during this emotional process.
Divorce is almost always a very emotional time for both spouses. Many people seeking a divorce experience feelings of fear, depression, betrayal, rage, and confusion. Having these heightened emotions can make it very difficult to be objective during your own divorce even though it will affect the rest of your life. If you try to represent yourself in court during a divorce, it will be incredibly difficult to put aside your emotions to remain calm and collected while presenting your case to the judge with your ex-spouse sitting next to you. Divorce attorneys are objective third parties that remain level-headed and can separate themselves from the emotional weight of a divorce case in order to achieve the best resolution for their clients. Throughout the divorce process, your lawyer can gently remind you to channel your emotions into positive strategies and will let you know if you are being unreasonable or asking for something that is not possible. When emotions are high and aggressive or vindictive statements could be made, your divorce attorney can be the buffer between you and the other side and prevent you from sabotaging your case.
3. Family lawyers have extensive knowledge of all options – even those you didn’t know existed.
Every divorce is unique, hiring a divorce attorney will allow you to evaluate your individual situation and let you know all likely outcomes. With extensive family court experience, they will be able to offer a variety of legally acceptable options for resolving your situation. Your attorney can craft a reasonable settlement proposal or evaluate a settlement proposal from the other side, while always having your best interests in mind. In court, your attorney will fight for you even in the most heated situations.
4. A divorce lawyer will handle all of the time-consuming paperwork.
Almost all divorces require a mountain of paperwork that must be filled out in detail and filed with the appropriate court. This paperwork can feel incredibly overwhelming and knowing exactly which forms to fill out with what information can be challenging and tedious. This paperwork is essential, as your judge will rely heavily on the documents submitted to determine the outcome of your case. If you are representing yourself and enter the wrong numbers on a form or use the wrong tone or words in a document, it could result in the judge seeing you as careless or aggressive. If something is omitted by mistake, the other side could accuse you of hiding information which could ruin your credibility. A divorce attorney has extensive experience with all of the required documents and forms that must be filled out accurately and will guide you through the process. This will increase the chances you will be viewed favorably by the judge.
5. An experienced family law attorney is able to focus on the “big picture.”
Divorces can sometimes bring out a person’s competitive or vindictive nature. Some spouses tend to focus on “winning” the case instead of concentrating on what is best for them and their families. A divorce attorney will see the big picture and guide you to compromise on some issues so you can get more of what is important to you. A good deal in a divorce is when both sides have compromised but are also able to agree to the terms of the settlement. A family lawyer will help you set priorities so you are able to get what you need to live comfortably.
Brazoria County Divorce Attorneys
Making the decision to separate from a partner is incredibly difficult. Even if you and your soon-to-be-ex agree on virtually everything, it is still wise to consult with an experienced Texas divorce attorney to ensure all your needs are met once the divorce is finalized. At Terry & Roberts, our Brazoria County divorce attorneys will provide you with clear, caring, and practical legal guidance to help you through the process. Contact our office today to see how we can best help you and your family.