How to Decide If You Need a Divorce Lawyer

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Divorce is never easy for a couple, even if they both agree that it may be necessary and in the best interests of both of them. In some areas a couple may be able to handle their own divorce proceeding without lawyers, and while this may seem like a good option to simply get the proceedings over with, you might want to consider times when a divorce lawyer is the better choice. Note a few tips to help you decide if you need a divorce lawyer.

1. If there are disagreements about valuable property or family heirlooms

Disagreements over who gets which television or piece of furniture may not warrant the consultation of a divorce attorney, but if you own a house or vacation property, have large investments, or otherwise valuable property, and are now disagreeing about how to split these, it's good to consult with an attorney. He or she can protect your interests and ensure that each spouse has their fair share of community property, without one spouse being favored over the other.

This is also true if there is family property or heirlooms that are now being contended. Without a prenuptial agreement in place, those family heirlooms or family property may be considered community property to be split by a couple. However, a divorce attorney may be able to negotiate ways of keeping that property with the family of origin.

For example, a larger portion of a couple's shared bank account may be given to one spouse in exchange for them giving up their rights to certain property or heirlooms. Rather than trying to argue these things out between you, consult with an attorney for the best and most amicable solution.

2. If there are disagreements over serious aspects of child custody

Courts are not going to get involved in disputes about bedtimes and chores, but if a couple suddenly begin to disagree about what school a child should attend or whether or not a spouse should raise the child in their religion, or starts talking about moving far away with the child, this can warrant the intervention of a lawyer.

Couples may assume that the mother has the final say over all matters relating to child care and custody, or they may assume that they can simply move to another part of the country with the child without consulting their ex-spouse. An attorney can advise you on your rights when it comes to custody and raising of your children, but also on the rights that your ex-spouse has as well. You can then more readily work out those disagreements and ensure that each parent has their rights protected when it comes to the children.