hiring a divorce lawyer

Should I Hire A Divorce Lawyer?

Goldberg Jones Divorce, Featured Posts 17 Comments

These days, it’s easier than ever to get divorced. You can find the forms online, fill them out yourself, and if you follow the proper procedure, end your marriage. This do-it-yourself approach works like gangbusters in some situations, but not for others. At some point in the process, you need to ask yourself if you should hire a divorce lawyer.

You have a lot of choices to make during this time, and deciding whether or not to hire a divorce lawyer is a big one. Ending a marriage is often a tumultuous time. People don’t always think clearly. Having an experienced professional to guide you often makes a huge difference in the outcome.

However you answer this question, there’s a great deal to consider.

Do I Need A Divorce Lawyer?

By this stage, you’ve probably asked yourself many questions, like why you’re staying married, can you save your marriage, and if divorce is really the best option? It’s important to contemplate these topics. That said, they’re of relatively little consequence when figuring out whether to hire a divorce lawyer.

This question comes up after the decision has already been made. Maybe you filed for divorce, maybe it was your spouse, or perhaps is was a mutual conclusion. What we’re more concerned with for the moment is trying to determine if you need representation.

The DIY approach works great in many cases. That’s part of why it’s become so popular. It’s best in straightforward situations. This usually means shorter marriages without children, with little shared property, and where the spouses agree on everything.

It is possible to handle more complicated divorces on your own. But remember, the more complex things become, the more potential hazards you face. Ending a marriage affects custody, your finances, and much more. The more complicated your situation, the more you’re likely to benefit when you hire a divorce lawyer. While you can handle the details of your split yourself, having representation benefits you in a number of areas.

1. Division Of Property

The more assets you have, the more complicated the division of property becomes. This includes homes, cars, bank accounts, and even retirement benefits. Oregon is an equitable distribution state. That means the courts view property as belonging to the spouse who earned it. But that doesn’t mean divorce divides everything gets along those lines.

The court aims for each spouse to emerge on relatively even financial footing. Ideally, they want both to enjoy the standard of living they had while married. It’s possible for spouses to work together to divide assets. However, the more conflict you have, the more problems usually arise. You may want to hire a divorce lawyer to help ensure the agreement is fair and balanced.

2. Child Custody

Having children complicates divorce proceedings in many cases. Child custody battles often grow heated and contentious. Again, it’s possible to work out a parenting plan between you and your spouse. But this is a situation where things can get hectic and complex in no time. Having representation helps in many ways, and this may influence your decision to hire a divorce lawyer or not.

In child custody cases, the court’s overriding mandate is to do what’s in the child’s best interest. Enlisting an attorney experienced in his area often provides a huge benefit. Not only can having a third party help calm down raging emotions, but a professional can help develop a strategy to protect your rights as a parent. They help guard custody claims, visitation, and more.

3. Child Support

When you have children, child support usually comes into play. How this affects you generally has a lot to do with the custody situation. In general, the parent with the most overnights receives the payments from the other.

There’s a formula to determining child support that accounts for need, income, and many other factors. These payments cover the costs of caring for the child in question, both regular expenses and unexpected costs. This includes food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care, and other necessities.

4. Spousal Support

While child support has a formula, spousal support is less systematic. When determining whether or not to award spousal maintenance, the court weighs many elements. They consider:

  • need of support,
  • age,
  • the length of the marriage,
  • any continuing health concerns,
  • future employment opportunities,
  • and more.

The court doesn’t award spousal support in every case, and it can continue indefinitely or run for a limited time. If you hire a divorce lawyer, they can help you on this front. Someone with experience can prevent you from paying more than you can afford, or ensure you get enough to meet financial needs following the divorce.

5. Divorce Settlement

DIY divorce may result in a quicker, cheaper divorce than if you hire a divorce lawyer. That said, it may also lead to unexpected issues in the future. The division of property, child custody arrangements, spousal support, child support, and other areas get complicated. They also have a huge impact on your life moving forward.

Divorce settlements are complex legal documents. It’s all too easy to sign on the dotted line and not truly understand what it says. A judge won’t generally approve a divorce settlement that skews sharply in favor of one spouse or the other. But that doesn’t mean it’s entirely fair or as equitable as it could be. Once the court issues a divorce decree, they’re difficult, not to mention expensive, to modify. If you hire a divorce lawyer, they can help head off potential disaster ahead of time.

If you go the DIY route, consider consulting an attorney even if you don’t hire a divorce lawyer for the entire case. They can explain your rights and make sure you know exactly what you agreed to.

If you have questions about your case, contact Goldberg Jones at our Portland office.

Comments 17

  1. I didn’t realize that the age and the length of the marriage could play a part in whether spousal support is necessary. My older brother is going to divorce his wife of 25 years in the next few months. We don’t know what is going to happen but it would probably be good for him to get a good divorce lawyer just in case she tries to get a lot of money out of him.

  2. Hiring a divorce lawyer makes a lot of sense. I had no idea that there is a formula used for determining child support. My sister is going through a divorce soon, and she has four kids. I’ll tell her to look into hiring a lawyer.

  3. Thanks for explaining when people should get a divorce lawyer. It’s good to know that they can help in regards to the division of property and help with dividing the different assets. I’m kind of interested to learn more about what this process could be like depending on the client’s circumstances.

  4. I like that you mentioned that hiring a family law attorney that specializes in child custody can be a huge factor in protecting your rights as a parent. A friend of mine is getting divorced, and right now it doesn’t look like he’ll be getting custody of his daughter. Having an experienced and reliable lawyer would really be great for his case.

  5. I really liked what you said about having a professional care about spousal support. Some people find this to be the hardest part of the process so to have a lawyer to help is great. My friend might like knowing this since she has been asking about divorce law.

  6. I do like how you mentioned that a divorce lawyer could potentially help their client in settling a spousal supports as it can be less systematic and the court would weight many elements before determining anything about it. That is great to have learned since my sister would probably need this information due to her husband being caught cheating with her best friends last night. Hopefully, that guy gets what he deserves and my sister can claim everything from him. I’ll be sure to help her find the best possible divorce lawyer for the case. Thanks!

  7. My wife and I are likely going to split up soon, but I’m not sure if I need a lawyer or not. I like your point about how, in a divorce, your property might not be split fairly. I’ll have to find a lawyer in town to help me get all my property back.

  8. Thanks for pointing out that having a third party can help calm emotions and develop a strategy to protect your rights as a parent in a child custody case. Since my husband and I are getting a divorce, I am wondering if I should hire an attorney to help me through the process. Since we there are children involved, I’ll be sure to hire a divorce attorney.

  9. My cousin and her husband decided to separate after being together for three years. It was explained here that they need to have a divorce attorney to divide their properties. Furthermore, it’s advisable to hire an experienced divorce attorney.

  10. I like the fact that divorce lawyers also take care of the settlements, including the division of properties to make sure that you get what you rightfully deserve without chasing in the long run. This is something that my neighbor has been considering a couple of days ago since she and her husband has decided to call it quits. Instead of dealing things among themselves, it will be best if they hire a specialized attorney who can fix their assets to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings as a result of unequal distribution of properties.

  11. When my friend mentioned her need to get a divorce lawyer, I decided to help. She was looking at settlements and how to reach an agreement quickly. To avoid any issues in the future it may help her a lot to hire an attorney with experience.

  12. I really like your point about how people should hire a divorce lawyer to help a guarantee that the division of property is fair and balanced. My son’s marriage fell on the rocks because of infidelity issues. I’ll be sure to share his article with the couple so they can consider getting a reputable divorce lawyer to help them evaluate the issue of property division and child custody.

  13. My cousin and her husband decided to separate after ten years of being together. It was mentioned here that they need a divorce lawyer because they will be dealing with complex things like division of property. Furthermore, it’s advisable to hire an experienced divorce lawyer for the best outcome.

  14. I do agree with you that putting an end to marriage will affect the custody, finances and many other things. Since my friend and her husband have already filed a divorce, the question where the kid will live will definitely be an issue later. As such being the case, my friend has really asked me to look for a lawyer expert in handling divorce case so she could win and have her daughter to live with her also.

  15. Doing some research online is a great way to find a divorce lawyer. I would imagine that online reviews would be brutally honest about their experience with a particular lawyer.

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