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When to Hire a Family Lawyer for Your Divorce

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In many areas, you are allowed to handle a divorce on your own, without the help of a lawyer. If a couple can split amicably and dissolve their marriage on their own without the intervention of lawyers, this can certainly be easier and more affordable for both. However, it's a mistake to assume that it's better to handle your divorce on your own just to save money or because you think you understand the courts and legal system as well as any solicitor. Note when it's best to hire a family lawyer instead of trying to handle your divorce yourself.

1. When there is violence, stalking, and the like

A lawyer can ensure that your safety and the safety of your children are protected during divorce proceedings, while ensuring that you're not accused of interfering with the rights of your ex-spouse. As an example, if you denied your ex-spouse their visitation with their children because you thought there was a threat of physical harm, but you didn't have an order from the court allowing you to do this, you might see a custody challenge. A lawyer can tell you how to document any violence, incidents of stalking, property damage, threats, and the like, so you're protected both physically and legally throughout your divorce.

2. If you feel you took on more economic burden in the marriage than was reasonable

If you worked while your spouse was simply chronically unemployed, you want to hire a lawyer to protect you in court. Your spouse may say that you were happy to support him or her and that they should continue to receive spousal support, but you may see things differently. A lawyer can present your case in a way that will make the court understand why your support of him or her should now stop, even if you were supporting your spouse for some time.

3. If the children might be moved away

If you have reason to think that your spouse may take the children to another state or country, you want to hire a lawyer immediately. The children's passports might need to be confiscated, or you might need to get an injunction against your spouse to prevent them from moving a certain distance from your current location.

4. If your spouse is defaming you

Saying unflattering things to friends and family is very common during a divorce, but if you're a professional who needs to maintain a public reputation and your spouse is defaming your publicly, an injunction might be needed. This would stop your spouse from posting defaming things online, making statements to the press, and the like.