“Do I have to hire an Oregon Divorce Lawyer?” is a common question for men facing divorce. The answer is no. Having a divorce lawyer is not required to get divorce. You can represent yourself—but like many things, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
What is the benefit of having a divorce attorney?
The end of a marriage is an emotional and stressful time and it is important to keep in mind that the decisions you make during your divorce will have long lasting effects. Working with an experienced divorce lawyer can ensure you have an advocate protecting your rights and your interests.
Taking a personal assessment of your situation can help you evaluate the benefits of hiring an attorney. Every divorce is unique and realistically appraising your circumstances can benefit you two-fold—you will be able to prioritize your goals and determine what type of legal help will be most beneficial.
Some of the factors that you should consider are the division of assets and debts, retirement, custody, parenting time, and spousal maintenance. The decisions that you will be required to make now regarding these issues will impact everything from your standard of living post-divorce to the age at which you retire. Unfortunately, once a divorce is final it can be difficult, if not impossible, to modify many of the terms of the divorce decree. Having an attorney is an important piece to making sure you get it right when you only get one shot.
Hiring an Oregon divorce lawyer is especially important if you have children. Protecting your relationship and parenting time with your children should be paramount. An experienced divorce attorney can craft an equitable parenting plan that will safeguard your access to your children. Having a parenting plan will also allow you to enforce your rights as they pertain to visitation in the event your spouse denies or inhibits your ability to see your kids. Additionally, your lawyer will ensure all the facts of the case are considered when support is calculated and your payments are fair.
There are some scenarios where a do-it-yourself divorce makes sense. Even in those situations, it is still important to consult with an attorney before filing any papers. A DIY divorce might be an option to explore if you have no children, no debt or assets, and an amicable relationship with your soon-to-be ex. DIY divorce should be approached with caution. We have seen numerous cases where the couple started the divorce with the intention of saving money by doing it themselves, only to have the case become contentious and expensive.
Divorce is a difficult matter, both legally and emotionally. The guidance of an experienced Oregon divorce lawyer is a valuable resource for protecting your rights and your assets. And while there are times when do-it-yourself solutions can be the best course of action, it is critical to consult with legal counsel about your divorce and legal issues.