Do I need a divorce lawyer?
An objective look at hiring a divorce lawyer
When you are facing a major decision that normally comes with a big price tag, you want to look into every possible option before making the purchase. Just like any other venture in life, deciding on whether or not to hire an attorney should provoke the fundamental question, "but do I really need one?" We may be a divorce attorneys, but we have some very simple and objective advice on whether or not you would need a divorce lawyer.
Some people tell you lovely stories about how their divorce was smooth sailing - they drafted their settlement (MSA) on a napkin one night and voila. They took it to the judge with some other papers and before they knew it, they were on their own ways without having to pay for an attorney.
Many people are looking for the easy and cheap way to handle their divorce - and we know it can be a tough decision for our potential clients. For the objective answer to this question, take an objective look at your own situation - your assets, debt, property, collections, deferred compensation plans, social security benefits, investment plans. Think about your kids and where they are in life with education, living arrangements and their needs. If you and your spouse agree on how to prioritize and divide these considerations, you certainly don't need a divorce lawyer and can save a few bucks.
Those couples, the ones that can communicate and make decisions together are the ones that we would say can forego hiring an attorney. If you do not have the money and agree on how to split up everything you share, there is certainly little cause to spend money on an attorney.
This is because a divorce lawyer is going to look at the details because that's what they are trained to do. A divorce lawyer will look at the nitty gritty facts and figures, the long-haul of the agreement, and ensure that you know what you are getting into. A Marital Settlement Agreement is binding until all of the terms are met. If any factors in life change over time, you will remain bound by that agreement. A MSA is inclusive of dividing pension plans, custody, division of property and other major decisions.
Because of this meddling quality, a divorce lawyer is going to immediately ask you questions about your future plans and delve into the past to understand the full scope of what is at stake for your divorce settlement. Your divorce lawyer is also going to focus on your interests and ensure there is nothing in the agreement that limits or reduces your rights. Things can change very quickly in life, and a poorly drafted agreement could cause the kinds of headaches that lead you back to the courtroom anyway. Additionally, all is fair in love and war and maybe that napkin had some hidden ramifications that could cheat you out of the value of your home, possession of your home, or any number of terrible conclusions.
With that in mind, if you have some money to have a divorce lawyer look at this part of the divorce process the we say yes - you should hire a divorce lawyer. Much like business ventures or major purchases, a lawyer is going to see a lot more in the details of a document than the layperson. Knowledge of the laws and the ability to read between the lines puts a great deal of assurances on your side.
So much like life itself, the answer to "Do I need a divorce lawyer?" is a bit gray - both yes and no, the resolution lies within the type of couple considering divorce and the financial capability of either party. A divorce lawyer is your personal advocate and should be chosen with both the brain and the gut - interview attorneys that are conveniently located to where you live or work so the process is centered on you.
To meet with a Bucks County divorce lawyer and discuss your MSA, call the Law Offices of Michael Kuldiner, P.C. at (215) 693-6191. Feel free to submit an online inquiry form and a member of our team will contact you to schedule a consultation.