In some cases, people who are beginning the divorce process choose to represent themselves instead of hiring a divorce lawyer, but this is a risky option if your divorce involves children, assets, spousal support, or if the divorce is being contested in any way.
Most people don’t have a working knowledge of any area of the law, and unfortunately judges are going to hold everybody to the same standard in the courtroom. Hiring a qualified family lawyer who has years of experience in the field and knows the complexities of the laws you’re going up against in your divorce gives you a much better chance of not making an enemy out of your judge – or worse, jeopardizing your entire case because you don’t totally understand a vital aspect of it.
Another reason to hire a lawyer is the paperwork. Not only is it tedious and complicated to compile the correct forms and documents you’ll need for your case, but you won’t get a free pass if you do it wrong. The opposing counsel is going to look for any reason to poke holes in your defense, including damaging your credibility as counsel yourself, so you don’t want to give them a reason to. A family lawyer knows how to fill out paperwork correctly and cogently, in a way that will make you look more favorable. With a lawyer’s help you are also much less likely to get bogged down in court because of incomplete work, which is a common problem facing today’s court system.
Lawyers will also provide an unemotional and unbiased support system while you go through your divorce. Emotions are inevitably going to be high at a time like this, as there are always multiple factors to contend with even if the divorce is amicable, and if you’re representing yourself it may be impossible to keep a cool head if those emotions start to surface. A good divorce lawyer will be able to tell you when you’re being unreasonable about something – or, similarly, not assertive enough. They can also provide an objective way forward because they will not be completely focused on “winning” your case, but getting the best deal out of the situation. Winning is not always possible or even a realistic way to look at divorce, and a divorce lawyer knows how to pick their battles and set priorities which can work out better for you in the long run.
Divorce proceedings involve a lot of decisions that will affect the rest of your life, and some of them are very likely to be overwhelming. Trying to process your emotions while remaining level-headed and unbiased enough to take on your own divorce case is asking a lot, so getting a family lawyer to represent you is likely to end up saving you a lot of suffering down the road.
If you’d like more information about divorce proceedings, or if you would like legal consultation from an experienced family lawyer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Lyttle Law Firm. You can send an inquiry through the website or call 512-215-5225.