Divorce is considered by most people who have experienced it as the most difficult time in their lives, and a period which required a number of hard decisions be made in a relatively short period of time. Divorce extracts an emotional, financial, and lifestyle toll on everyone involved, and trying to find the fastest and simplest path to dissolution of the marriage is the goal of many spouses.
Often, this desire can manifest as a decision to proceed through the divorce process without an attorney, using online forms and representing themselves in the case. With the large of number of state-approved, generic divorce forms available online, it is not surprising that a spouse would want to consider this route. Furthermore, the costs of divorce can push a person to try and forgo an attorney in the interests of saving money. Recognizing that self-represented, or pro se, parties will continue to be part of the legal system, a new website has been created to assist low-income households with navigating the court system in family law matters. The information could also provide a party with basics information about handling his or her case, and perhaps allow him or her to retain an attorney for the final hearing.
From the outside, a divorce, particularly if the parties think they are in complete agreement, can seem simple enough to handle on one’s own. However, certain important parameters should be evaluated to see if divorcing without an attorney will cost a spouse more in the long-term, and whether it would be better to invest in an attorney at beginning to avoid future issues.
Reasons to Hire a Divorce Attorney
Divorce should always be taken seriously, and the help of a divorce attorney will always make the process easier to navigate. In particular, if a marriage involved incidents of domestic violence, an attorney’s help will be crucial in protecting the spouses’ safety and the safety of any children of the marriage. The abusive dynamic will persist, even in divorce proceedings, and having a lawyer on your side to communicate with an abusive ex will make the divorce process more tolerable and safe.
At a basic level, the divorce process is not always easy to understand, and filing the wrong form or missing a filing deadline can cost a spouse valuable rights and remedies. Other issues that argue in favor of a divorce attorney handling the legal side of a divorce include:
- Minor children: Parenting plans will control all aspects of child custody, and both parents need to ensure that no issue is left unaddressed or is handled incorrectly.
- Retirement Plans: Dividing these accounts can be highly complicated, and transferring a portion to the other spouse requires a special court order that must be well-drafted in order to avoid costly and perhaps irreversible damage.
- Alimony: Judges have broad discretion over this issue, and arguing for or against spousal support requires presenting evidence that proves certain issues, which is not an easy task.
- Incomplete financial information: While spouses are supposed to be transparent about the property they own, the reality does not always meet this standard. Digging and specific requests for information, both technical pursuits, will need to be made to protect the other spouse from losing out on valuable assets.
Benefits of Having a Divorce Attorney on Your Side
As mentioned above, the legal process of divorce is complex and technical, requiring you to file the right paperwork and satisfy all the nuanced requirements of the legal system. Additionally, the experience an attorney brings will allow a person to build a stronger case that is more likely to get a spouse the settlement he or she needs and wants. Finally, an attorney can offer the objective voice that is hard to find between spouses, and use that to find a common ground that is more likely to lead to an amicable and fair outcome.
Contact an Indiana Divorce Attorney
Divorce can be a messy process, but using an attorney to handle your case is much more likely to produce the right outcome. Christopher L. Arrington, P.C. know the struggles you are facing and is here to help you reach the divorce goals. Contact the Plainfield divorce law firm (317) 745-4494 to schedule an appointment.