5 Reasons You Should Hire A Divorce Lawyer

The “do-it-yourself” movement is alive and well in America these days. There’s even a popular cable channel dedicated to DIY endeavors. If you are contemplating a divorce, you might be tempted to take a DIY approach to that process, as well. After all, you’re smart, you’ve read all the self-help resources available, and you have better things to spend your money on than an attorney, right? Well, maybe not. Divorce, especially when there are children involved, can be an unexpectedly complex process, often with consequences that last for years or even decades. Even in a seemingly simple divorce – with no children and few assets to deal with – small mistakes can have a huge impact. Like virtually all matters of legal consequence, then, divorce is generally best left to the experts. In this case, the experts are divorce lawyers, and below is a list of just five of the many reasons you should think about hiring one.

Attention to the details.
You and your soon-to-be ex have worked everything out. You’ll keep the Chevy, and she’ll keep the Toyota. The kids will spend every other Thanksgiving alternating between the two of you. Sounds great, right? But the Chevy is paid off, while there are four years left on the Toyota note, and you make more money than she does. And when does Thanksgiving “start”, anyway? Is it at 9:00 that Thursday morning, or when school gets out the day before? The devil is in the details when it comes to divorce, and an experienced family lawyer thinks about and plans for those details. It is not the details you put into your divorce decree, but the details you leave out of it, that will cause years of litigation down the road. If you already have the contours of a divorce settlement worked out, that’s great as a starting point, but a good divorce lawyer will tell you what’s missing and how to fill those details in.

Your time is valuable.
If you had nothing but free time, perhaps you could spend hours learning about the divorce filing requirements, crunching the numbers, standing in line at the legal self-help center, etc. But if you’re like most divorce litigants, you have plenty of other things to occupy your time. You have to work, go to your daughter’s dance recital, and maybe even shop for a new house. This is an emotionally taxing time for you already. Why spend your valuable time learning and implementing an entirely new set of information that you’ll likely need only this one time? A good divorce lawyer will make the process as simple and painless for you as it can possibly be, allowing you to keep on with your life.

Here in Southern Nevada, there are only a relatively small number of attorneys who practice family law with any frequency. Your divorce decree is ultimately going to be signed by one of only twenty family court judges in Clark County (or one of only two judges in neighboring Nye County). These family lawyers and judges see each other in court all the time, while you have likely never even met one of them. That personal familiarity breeds trust and credibility. Especially if there are contested issues in your divorce, and definitely if your soon-to-be ex has hired an experienced family attorney to represent him or her, you should not go it alone in court. Bring your own advocate, so as not to be outgunned or ignored.

Consolidation of costs.
If you and your spouse are treating each other with respect and have agreed on the major issues raised by your divorce, a single attorney can under some circumstances represent both of you in a stipulated or negotiated divorce process. Why hire two attorneys, each with his or her own fees, when you can hire just one, and share the costs? Since joint representation requires the attorney to share all information with both sides, you can also avoid that nagging feeling of wondering what your spouse is saying about you behind closed doors. A good family attorney can help both of you work through any sticking points and avoid leaving the decision-making to the whims of a judge.

No one wants to spend months or even years trying to wind down a bad marriage. But many divorce litigants who take a DIY approach end up doing just that. In the hands of competent divorce counsel, even a highly contentious and complex divorce can usually be reduced to a decree in under six months, and a stipulated divorce can usually be accomplished in under thirty days. While there are of course exceptions to these general rules, a good divorce lawyer will always strive to ensure that the process proceeds as quickly and efficiently – and that the resulting divorce decree provides as much finality and certainty – as possible.

There are several other great reasons to hire a divorce lawyer, and very few good reasons not to. By paying attention to the critical details and allowing you to focus on living your life, a seasoned family attorney will give you tremendous emotional return on your financial investment. Going it alone on a matter of such importance can have terrible, long-lasting consequences. At The Law Office of Sean D. Lyttle, we regularly handle divorce and custody matters, and we are committed to lighting your way forward through the process. We also offer competitive hourly and flat-rate pricing plans. When it comes to your divorce, don’t DIY; give us a call for your free consultation instead.