When to Hire a Divorce Attorney (in the USA)

Consideration has been given for the editing and publishing of this post

Realizing your marriage is dissolving and accepting a future without your partner can be a highly emotional experience. Whether the separation was a shock, or you knew it was coming for months or even years, divorce can put anyone in a gloomy fog. It may seem overwhelming to start meeting with a lawyer, but in some cases the sooner you can rely on a professional for legal advice potentially the better. Here are five reasons you might wish to consider hiring a divorce attorney when you’ve realized your marriage is crumbling and beyond any repair.

  1. Before separation. If you know there’s a good chance your marriage is headed for divorce, it might potentially be that the sooner you talk with an attorney, the better. They can offer you advice on first steps, especially if there are children involved, and how the overall process is going to work. They may even know specifically how the courts lean in your district on matters of custody, so you can prepare for that mentally and emotionally. It’s never a good idea to enter a legal battle with ignorance. Talking to a professional will help educate you on any nuances of divorce you may not have known.
  2. Safety is at risk. If the reason for separation is because your ex-partner is abusive to you or the children, or has since become dangerous and threatening, it is best to seek legal help immediately. An attorney can assist you in obtaining a restraining order if needed and help you document instances that may influence custody decisions in court.
  3. Ex-partner has hired an attorney. If the other side has already acquired an attorney, it can potentially be smart to do the same. Divorce lawyers know subtleties about divorce law that you may not know or have time to research. It’s not wise to go into battle alone against a professional, so you might wish to find someone to represent your best interests too.
  4. Legal protection. If you are facing a complicated separation in terms of finances or custody, hiring a lawyer might be your best option in terms of protecting yourself and your interests. Even though hiring an attorney can be expensive, it could be more expensive in the long run not having one. Without knowledge on the specifics of divorce law, you could unknowingly hand over too much to your ex-partner, which could end up hurting you and/or the children for years to come. Once separation orders are final, it’s difficult to change them again, especially in cases of custody. A lawyer will protect your rights and help you find a solution that is in the best interests of everybody involved.
  5. Review any documents self-written. If you would like to save your money and not pay thousands of dollars to an attorney, and your ex-partner is relatively cooperative, you may want to look into writing your own divorce agreement to present to a judge. However, even in this highly idealistic scenario, it can still potentially be a good idea to have your documents reviewed by a legal professional. They will be able to offer advice on any agreements made and let you know if you are missing anything important before making it official in court. A good lawyer should understand if this course of action is truly in your best interest financially and emotionally.

In some ways hiring an attorney makes the whole separation seem more official, and some people may still be in denial about their situation. However, waiting to speak to a professional doesn’t always benefit you and can sometimes potentially do more harm than good. When deciding who you want to represent you, you should take into consideration location, demeanor, price, and any other characteristics you desire. An attorney you trust is more important than hiring the most expensive one, or the least expensive one, and one who knows the court system where you live could prove an invaluable asset. For instance, if you live just south of Baltimore, Jimeno and Gray Law is an option for representation that knows the area, have three different locations for your convenience, and specialize in divorce. If you live north of Baltimore, a different law firm could serve you better. In the end, whether you decide to amicably split with your partner and draw up your own divorce papers, or you need to hire representation in a complicated or bitter divorce, your lawyer should always work with you and put your best interests first.

November 14, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized