No one goes into a marriage planning on getting divorced, but for some people, it is one of the curveballs that life throws them. Whether you are still considered a newlywed, you’ve been married for decades, or fall somewhere in between, divorce is never an easy process. It can be emotionally draining, overwhelming, confusing, and expensive. Your divorce attorney can help make this process easier on you and less time-consuming.
In general, there are two different types of divorces; contested and uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses come to agreements on issues such as dividing marital property, spousal support, child support, custody, and parenting time. This could be through the process of a collaborative divorce, mediation, or merely through their respective attorneys.
In a contested divorce, the partners cannot agree on one or more of these crucial issues that must be dealt with when ending a marriage. They could decide from the beginning that they are not willing to compromise or negotiate, or they could attempt mediation or negotiations and not be able to agree. When this happens, the terms of the divorce will be determined by their jurisdiction’s circuit court. Many couples try to avoid contested divorces as this takes the control out of their hands. If possible, it is much easier to negotiate the terms of a divorce, than have a judge who does not know you or your family decide your future.
In either divorce scenario, it is imperative to have your own divorce lawyer. Your attorney can help manage your expectations, inform you of your rights, and be present if you choose to use a mediator. Divorce attorneys also fill an important role as they file divorce petitions and motions with the court and can ask for modifications of the terms of the divorce decree when appropriate. If you have a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, your attorney can ensure that it is valid and enforceable.
As with most other legal issues, you are not required to have legal representation. You can represent yourself, but just because it is not a requirement doesn’t mean you don’t need one. Without an experienced divorce lawyer, you may not be aware of your options and rights. You could miss important filing deadlines and even jeopardize your finances and your child’s living arrangements. Keep in mind that you and your spouse must have separate attorneys. If your spouse has legal representation, they will not and cannot help you.
The attorneys at Mahoney & Richmond, PLLC, have decades of experience representing divorce clients just like you. Whether your divorce case is simple or complex, we have the experience and tools to ensure the best outcome for you and your family. We can help you explore your options and negotiate with your spouse. If you are considering divorce, we are here to help. Contact us to schedule your divorce case consultation today.