Can you handle your own divorce? Maybe. Was your marriage short, with no children or assets? Do you have plenty of free time to look up things in a legal library, find out how and where to get the forms you need, and go to court? In this case, you might be able to file for divorce yourself.
But in most circumstances, filing for divorce is messy, complicated, and fraught with emotion. You don’t need the added stress of trying to get all the paperwork right. Here are 10 times you definitely need a divorce attorney to help you file for divorce:
- You have a child under 18
- Your marriage lasted longer than a year or two
- You’re already arguing about how to split things up
- Child, domestic, drug, or alcohol abuse is a factor
- You think your spouse is hiding assets from you
- You’re in a same-sex marriage
- You and your spouse own a business together
- One of you is bankrupt, or together you have more than $15,000 in debt
- One of you is in the military
- Together, your assets total $30,000 or more (house, car, etc.)
DIY Divorce Might Actually Cost You More
People consider DIY divorce to save money, but it can actually cost you more if you make a mistake. Do you want to risk messing up your child’s financial well-being, or your taxes, for the next decade? If your divorce isn’t extremely straightforward, a divorce lawyer will be an invaluable help. You cannot possibly knowevery consequence of every action taken in a divorce, but this is what we are trained to think about.
The truth is, there are a lot of forms to fill out, and they’re confusing. This isn’t something simple like buying a car. If you make an error or miscalculate something, it could have unintended financial consequences, whether it’s paying too much to your ex for spousal or child support or not getting your fair share of property. It could even have more serious consequences, like giving you less quality time with your children than you otherwise would have gotten. Whatever your final agreements are, you’ll be legally bound to carry them out — even if you find down the road that they aren’t fair. Have you considered absolutely everything, including who will pay for your two-year-old’s college, and how retirement funds factor in?
Mistakes mean you’ll have to go back to court and invest more time and money in this process. A divorce lawyer will ensure you get it right the first time.
How a Divorce Lawyer Helps
Although this may be your first divorce and everything is new and overwhelming, this is far from our first divorce case. The attorneys at Holtey Law in Portland practice family law exclusively and have handled hundreds of divorce cases over the years. We’re experts at helping our clients through this process. We know the latest developments in divorce law, and we know what to expect from the court system, particularly in the tri-county area. We often work with mediators and other professionals to help our clients resolve their disputes amicably, but we are not afraid to take a case to trial if the situation calls for it.
Let Us Help You
You shouldn’t have to go through one of life’s hardest experiences alone. We want to help you get through your divorce with your dignity and finances intact. Contact us today to get help filing your divorce.