It is completely understandable that a person might think that a divorce can be easily resolved by downloading a few forms, filling them out and filing them with the court. The divorce process can be expensive, so some folks will try to cut those costs by doing it themselves. But just because you and your spouse get along, that doesn’t mean you don’t want (or need) a lawyer to represent you in a divorce. You might be surprised how quickly things can get ugly in what had begun as an amicable divorce. We want to explain to you why it’s in your best interest to hire an attorney, instead of trying to do it alone.
A divorce attorney is not a referee in your conflict
Divorce is complicated. Beyond the ability to fill out the forms and file the paperwork, attorneys have intimate knowledge of divorce law and the laws of the state where they practice. Perhaps even more useful is their years and even decades of experience applying that knowledge to countless individual divorce cases throughout their years of practice. With no background in the law or knowledge of the divorce process, you are virtually guaranteed to overlook important details if you try a do-it-yourself divorce. As the saying goes, you don’t know what you don’t know. An attorney adds much more value to their clients in a divorce than being a referee in the conflict.
What does a hiring a divorce lawyer get you?
So, what does a divorce lawyer do, anyway? After all, if you’re going to pay for a service, shouldn’t you know what you’re getting? When you work with an experienced family lawyer, you get the benefit of his or her:
- Knowledge of the law and the divorce process
- Decades of experience guiding clients through the virtual minefield of divorce
- Practical counsel and proven advice when you are facing decisions that will have an impact on the rest of your life
- Advocacy on your behalf, and on behalf of your kids. It can be a source of great comfort to know that you have someone on your side protecting your interests when the other side is fighting dirty
When you think of the fact that even divorce attorneys hire another lawyer to represent them when they are going through a divorce, it might caution you against making the costly mistake of trying a DIY divorce.
If the lack of finances is what is driving your decision to go it alone, there are things that you can do to try to keep costs as contained as possible. Be candid with your lawyer during the first meeting and explain your circumstances. Keep in mind that the greater the level of conflict, the higher your legal fees will be. This does not mean that you need to roll over and just accept everything the other side proposes, but deciding what’s most important before you start the process can help things move more quickly.
The decision to divorce is not usually an easy one, but once you have made it, everything changes. We are experienced Maryville divorce attorneys, and we’re ready to sit down with you to discuss your goals for your divorce and outline some of the strategies that we might use to get there. Please call Shepherd and Associates, P.C., at 865-225-9655 or fill out this contact form to schedule an initial consultation.