The United States has one of the highest divorce rates in the world, with approximately 50% of marriages ending in divorce. Once you know that your marriage is coming to an end, you should plan your exit strategy with decisiveness.
This starts by knowing whether you want to represent yourself in court or hire a divorce lawyer. The tips below will help you figure it out.
Do You Need a Divorce Lawyer?
By law, no, you don’t need a divorce lawyer. You’re always free to represent yourself. Many people don’t mind representing themselves, especially since divorce cases are far less formal than other court proceedings.
Divorce hearings are typically a conversation between you, your spouse, and the judge, with no one else present in the courtroom. With representation, a lawyer would discuss and contest points on your behalf, and advocate for your outcomes.
You might not need an attorney if you feel comfortable with divorce law and speaking on your own behalf.
Should You Hire a Divorce Lawyer?
Most people should hire a divorce lawyer. The majority of people don’t have a grasp of the law, and even if they do, a professional with a law degree will always be more prepared and up for the task.
Hiring a divorce lawyer increases your chances of protecting your rights or fighting for something that you believe you’re entitled to. This is important since divorces decide things like where your kids live, who gets to keep the house, and whether you’ll still pay them in some form or fashion after the ink is dry.
How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost?
Shop with a few different lawyers to find out how much they charge. You should usually expect to pay about $250 per hour or so for the help of a skilled professional.
Some lawyers will work on retainer or other arrangements. Ask for the fee upfront, and use the written quote as you comparison shop.
How Can You Find the Right Lawyer?
Start by getting some references from people that you know who have gotten divorced. If your friend or family member reports positive outcomes and that the lawyer was a joy to work with, add them to your shortlist. You should also consult the State Bar Association and read through some reviews to find out if you’ve found a good fit.
Make sure that you go to right lawyers that can win your case, rather than just go back and forth. Choose a lawyer that is results-oriented and always available when you need advice.
Handle Your Divorce
The tips above will help you out when you’re trying to decide whether or not to hire a divorce lawyer. Divorce isn’t an easy thing to go through, but still, many people face it each day. Explore all your options using the information above, and brainstorm what outcome you’d like to receive in a divorce.
Begin with the points in this article, and check out our other posts related to business and family life.