Family Law

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Divorce?

Even if your divorce is friendly and you've reached a mutual agreement with your spouse about custody and property, obtaining help from a professional is often a good idea. A divorce decree is a court order and it could affect you for the rest of your life. Mistakes can be hard or impossible to undo, so you want to make sure you get it right the first time.

Divorce Attorneys Knows the Law

Divorce laws are not "one size fits all," and every case is different. State laws vary and a local attorney will know your rights under the legal system in your state. If your divorce is uncontested, an attorney will know whether the terms you've worked out are fair. If your spouse is contesting the divorce, a lawyer will be in a position to meet that challenge and advocate for your best interests in court.

An Attorney Won't Overlook Details

When you are navigating through a divorce, you will benefit by having a complete understanding of all the issues involved, such as the value of your assets and how you should divide those assets with your spouse. This information can be found by using legal discovery methods such as depositions, subpoenas and requests for your spouse to produce documents. Attorneys know how to use these tools, and they know how to analyze the information once it is uncovered.

An Attorney Will Handle Follow-up Details

Your divorce is not necessarily over when you receive a decree. For example, a judge might order your spouse to share a pension or other assets with you, but the decree might not automatically divide those assets. More paperwork will likely be required to achieve this. When you retain an attorney to handle your divorce, the attorney usually takes care of these follow-up tasks.

An Attorney Is Not Always Necessary

If you and your spouse have no children, own very little property, do not have much debt and have only been married a short time, a divorce can usually be completed with a minimum of fuss. You might be able to handle the paperwork yourself, but you should still ask an attorney to review the documents before you file anything with the court. A lawyer can make sure you haven't made any serious mistakes. Many attorneys will look over your documents and charge you only an hourly rate. You don't have to retain the attorney to handle the entire divorce process.

A Divorce Lawyer Can Help

The law surrounding divorce is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a divorce lawyer.

Have a divorce question?
Get answers from local attorneys.
It's free and easy.
Ask a Lawyer

Get Professional Help

Find a Divorce lawyer
Practice Area:
Zip Code:
How It Works
  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Connect with local attorneys

Talk to a Divorce attorney.

We've helped 85 clients find attorneys today.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you