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Do I need an attorney if I am getting a divorce?

hire a divorce attorney

A divorce brings about many changes in your life, including financial and emotional changes. You will need to adjust insurance policies and financial accounts, change ownership of cars and homes, and develop child custody arrangements. You may also have to move and set up a new household, find a new job, or find new social connections.

One big concern during divorce proceedings is whether an attorney is necessary to navigate this complicated situation. Each divorce is a different situation, so it’s important to understand the pros and cons of obtaining counsel from a divorce attorney.

We’ll discuss insurance changes after a divorce, the benefits of a divorce attorney, and the drawbacks of having a divorce attorney. This important decision can affect you for the rest of your life, so it’s crucial to be well informed before you decide on a divorce attorney.

Insurance Changes After a Divorce

There may be changes to car, home, and health insurance after a divorce. Talk to your insurance agent or compare quotes online to find affordable coverage for all of your insurance policies if changes are necessary.

If you and your spouse are on the same health insurance plan during the marriage, one will usually need to find their own coverage after the divorce. You should not make any changes to insurance policies during divorce proceedings. If you have children, one of you will need to have health insurance for the children.

You will also need to find separate car insurance policies. One of you will also need to have car insurance for any teen drivers. Young drivers are usually the most expensive to insure, so talk to your agent about car insurance for a child of divorced parents to make sure you have the most affordable coverage.

Benefits of Hiring a Divorce Attorney

There are some reasons that hiring a divorce attorney is a good idea. The benefits of hiring a divorce attorney include understanding the legal requirements for your state, helping to navigate complicated documents, child custody issues, property division, and objectivity. An attorney can provide the legal expertise necessary to understand this complex process.

Each state has different laws regarding filing for divorce. There are also different types of divorce, such as fault and no-fault. Some states have no-fault divorces, which means you don’t need a reason other than irreconcilable differences

In other states, the first party to file for divorce must have grounds for a divorce such as adultery, abuse, or abandonment. An attorney can help you understand the requirements in your state before filing for divorce.

The process of divorce involves many complicated legal documents. A divorce attorney can help you navigate these documents and make sure they are completed and filed with the court in the timeframe required.

Child custody and visitation rights can be very complicated matters in a divorce. An attorney will help you understand the fairest way to approach these issues. They can help you negotiate and avoid future complications for child custody and visitation rights.

Property that was acquired during a marriage and financial accounts can be difficult to divide fairly without consultation with an attorney. This includes inheritances, contributions to retirement accounts, and insurance. A divorce attorney is an expert in property division and can advise you on the fair distribution of property.

If you have a pension or a significant amount of money in retirement funds, this can also be another complication. This can get even more complicated when money was contributed both before and during a marriage. An attorney understands the legal aspects of these accounts and can advise on a fair distribution of assets.

An attorney is an objective individual who can help you find a fair middle ground for dividing property and child custody arrangements. What one spouse thinks is middle ground may not be what the other spouse believes it to be. There can be a lot of disagreement between the division of property and child custody, so an attorney can help determine what’s fair.

Divorces can be one of the most stressful events of your life. They can also be very emotional, and a divorce attorney can help take the emotion out of the divorce proceedings. Having an attorney to help you navigate the process can also greatly reduce your level of stress.

Reasons to Skip a Divorce Attorney

Some states allow for a simple dissolution of marriage, but you must meet certain requirements for this. You can’t have children under 18, the wife must not be pregnant, there can’t be any alimony involved, and both parties must agree to the process. Before choosing this option, make sure you read the state statutes to fully understand the requirements and process.

Divorce is expensive. You’ll be responsible for attorney fees, court costs, and setting up a new household. If you can’t afford a divorce attorney and feel as though you can handle the documents and understand the laws, you might be better off without an attorney.

If you have no marital assets and no children, it may be preferable to skip the divorce attorney as well. If you don’t own a home, cars, or have any other property that would need to be divided, the divorce process will be much easier.

Some couples can use mediation as a fair process to divide assets during a divorce. The mediator is an objective individual that helps both parties come to an agreement about the division of assets. An attorney is not required to complete the mediation process.

If you and your spouse have an uncontested divorce and can come to agreeable terms of the divorce, you may be able to avoid using an attorney. If this is the case, it can save both parties time and money to get to the result of a divorce.

Make the Best Decision for your Situation

Regardless of which decision you make regarding an attorney, you should educate yourself about the general terminology and basic information. Ultimately, there is no one right answer on if you need an attorney for a divorce, and only you can decide if this is the best decision for you.

 Your situation is unique, so weigh all the pros and cons before you decide. You can also ask friends or family members that have been through a divorce for their own opinions and experiences to help you make the right decision. There are also many different legal implications that vary state to state, so research all the options before you decide.

Melissa Morris writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. She is a college professor and has researched the benefits and drawbacks of using a divorce attorney.

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