There is no requirement that a party in a divorce hire a lawyer. The internet, my website, included, is full of legal information and forms. So, armed with plethora of online information, more and more people are attempting to save money and do the “do it yourself divorce.” Is that a mistake? I think so.
The old adage is true; "He who represents himself has a fool for a client." This is particularly true in the case of divorce.
Good lawyers do a lot more than just fill in forms. I, for instance, start with the mindset that not only do I want to resolve the immediate problem, I want to prevent future issues. A well-crafted settlement agreement is long because it not only solves the issue at hand, but possible or likely “if this happens, then. . .” scenarios. One common example of this type of planning is addressing what happens when one parent, at the last moment, cannot exercise their parenting time and the other, as a result, incurs a child care expense.
Lawyers bring added value to the process. By having handled many prior cases, we bring practical know how and experience to the table. Because we have seen it before and your case is not our first, we can often use our perspective to finesse a workable solution to a problem.
Moreover, we help avoid some unanticipated consequences of a contemplated settlement. For example, the failure to tax impact some aspect of the settlement, could completely derail it and render the settlement economically unfeasible.
Lastly, we bring perspective. Since we are not enmeshed in the case, we can see the forest through the trees. From our experience, we understand the range of possible outcomes and can formulate reasoned, unemotional legal arguments to advance your case. On the other hand, we can counsel you against seeking the unobtainable or impractical.
Though retaining an attorney has a cost, the cost of not retaining one could be much higher.