From an outsider’s perspective, it often seems that a divorce can unfold in only one of two ways: it can be a completely civil affair, or it can be a complete train wreck. In truth, many divorces and separations fall somewhere in between.
Many people are optimistic that they can handle divorce negotiations and proceedings on their own, without the help of any divorce lawyers. While this may sometimes be true, don’t get left out in the could just because you didn’t hire an attorney from the start. Here are a few situations where you absolutely must hire a divorce attorney:
- Your spouse already has one. Surprise! Thought you would be negotiating over the kitchen table? Think again. If your spouse has already gone forth and hired a divorce attorney — and you can’t convince them to do otherwise — you’ll need one of your own, too. There’s no use trying to compete with a professional on your own.
- You can’t agree on what to do with the kids. Again, some people may be able to make child custody arrangements without issue. Others aren’t so fortunate. There are also certain legal restrictions you both need to bear in mind: shared physical custody, for example, requires a minimum overnight visits of 128 days per year. Even minor disagreements in this realm should be handled by a child custody attorney or child support attorney.
- Instances of abuse. Nothing is more important than your personal safety or that of your children. Remember that you are entitled to use your joint financial accounts to remove yourself from an abusive situation, and seek help as soon as possible. It can be particularly difficult for victims of abuse to properly negotiate a divorce; if you find yourself in such a situation, contact a reliable divorce attorney right away.
No one said marriage would be easy, and divorce typically isn’t any better. When you find yourself at the end of a relationship, emotions can be heated. Understand that it’s perfectly acceptable to take some of that pressure off by hiring a lawyer to help you process your paperwork, as well as your emotions. Find out more about this topic here.