5 Things a Divorce Lawyer Can Do (That You Probably Can't)
Divorces can be grueling and emotional legal battles, and your divorce attorney is far better equipped to handle the fight than you on your lonesome.
Don't believe us? While we understand that you may be cutting ties because you're tired of being controlled and dependent on someone else, here are five things an experienced divorce lawyer can do that you probably can't:
- Find "hidden" assets. The nitty-grittiest parts of your divorce case may be determining which assets should go to which ex-spouse. Some of the more irritating parts of this process are when you suspect your spouse has hidden many of his or her assets to appear penniless. Your attorney has the experience and training to wield the awesome weapon known as discovery to uncover assets no matter where your spouse may have hidden them.
- Negotiate with your (soon-to-be) ex-spouse's attorney. It's possible to have a happy divorce, but your chances of this decrease exponentially if you're the one directly negotiating the terms of your divorce with your ex's attorney. Use your attorney as an emotional shield and proxy, and have him or her calmly negotiate the best divorce settlement for you.
- Evaluate settlement offers. Once you begin receiving offers to settle during an embattled divorce case, it may be tempting to take the first one in order to just be done with the whole thing. While an offer may sound "good," only your attorney can let you know about things that might be missing (like college tuition for your children) that you may have never considered.
- Calculate and argue for spousal, child support. There are free child support and spousal support calculators online, but many of them are so complex or comprehensive that you'll probably need an attorney's help to use them. With your family's financial future on the line, why not have a paid set of eyes to triple check the math when it comes to how much support you should receive (or pay)? An attorney can also figure out the best ways to argue for more (or less) support, depending on your circumstances.
- Anticipate legal Issues you may not have considered. Even for those ending their second or third marriage, it's impossible to anticipate the plethora of legal issues that can arise in any particular marriage without professional legal help. Your divorce attorney has extensive experience (you asked about it, right?) in cases like yours, so he or she knows how to get ahead of potential problems.
Don't be ashamed to ask for professional help with your divorce. To learn more, check out FindLaw's free guide on How to Hire a Divorce Attorney.