When a marriage breaks down, there are numerous practical, emotional and financial matters to consider. If you decide to divorce, formally ending your marriage is a process that’s undertaken by the courts. However, some couples decide to handle the financial and practical elements of separation themselves. Sadly, this can lead to unnecessary delays, recriminations and regrets. To learn more, take a look at these five reasons why you need a divorce lawyer when you’re separating from a spouse:
Family law is complicated, so you won’t be able to ascertain exactly what your rights are easily. Without advice from a divorce lawyer, you could give up more than you have to. Your divorce settlement has a major impact on your future, which is why it’s essential to know exactly what your rights are from the outset.
If you share children with your spouse, you’ll need to make custody arrangements, such as who your kids will live with and how much time they’ll spend with each parent. Being represented by a family divorce lawyer can ensure that a fair custody agreement is reached. Additionally, having the agreement drafted by a lawyer can provide certainty and peace of mind.
Maintenance or alimony is usually paid by one spouse to another in relation to children, but spousal maintenance can be obtained too. When divorce proceedings are taking a long time, for example, temporary maintenance may be ordered. It isn’t always easy to obtain an order for spousal support, however, so being represented by a lawyer can work in your favor.
Both parties are required to disclose a significant amount of financial information during divorce proceedings. This is so a fair settlement can be reached. Of course, it’s not uncommon for one spouse to attempt to hide some or all of their assets in order to prevent a fair settlement. An experienced divorce lawyer will be familiar with the tactics used to subvert the law and be well-placed to ensure your spouse provides full disclosure.
Some people assume they’ll be able to negotiate a settlement more easily without lawyers, but negotiations between ex-partners can quickly descend into disagreements. When you have a divorce lawyer negotiating on your behalf, however, you’re more likely to be able to negotiate effectively and reach a settlement that’s acceptable to both parties.
If you and your spouse are still on amicable terms, this can certainly be advantageous during divorce proceedings. Even when you’re able to work together, however, it’s still in your interest to seek professional legal advice. By doing so, you can be confident that you know your rights and that any agreements you make are valid under the law. Furthermore, a family lawyer can provide peace of mind that your divorce and financial settlement has been concluded appropriately and won’t be subject to further legal action in the future.