If you are ready to go through a divorce, then you may be tempted to start the process yourself. Although you may have access to the required forms, correctly filing for divorce is not as easy as you may think. While filing a simple divorce may save you a few dollars upfront, it may also end up costing you a bundle in the long run. Here are four reasons to hire a divorce attorney.
1. Your Spouse Has Hired an Attorney
If your soon-to-be ex has notified you that they have engaged the services of a divorce attorney, then you will want to make sure that you have one too. While they may be willing to speak with you, the attorney your spouse hires will not be looking out for your best interest.
By hiring an attorney, your spouse indicates that they are going to protect their rights and attempt to obtain everything that they feel may be rightfully theirs. Unless you are very well versed in law, you can find yourself presented with requests that you do not know how to handle. While you may feel like it does not matter at this point in life, do not make rash decisions that can have long-term effects.
2. Child Custody Is in Dispute
Are both of you seeking physical custody of your children? If you are not able to agree on child custody or visitation arrangements as a part of your divorce, then you may need the services of a divorce attorney. If you are unable to come up with a plan between the two of you, then custody arrangments may be decided by the court.
Based on the divorce laws in South Carolina, it is no longer assumed that the children will automatically live with their mother. Each parent will be able to present their case as to why custody with them would be in the best interest of the child and how much visitation the other parent should have.
A divorce attorney will understand the complexities that come up during child custody cases and know how to best present your case to the court. This may be the advantage you need over your spouse.
3. You Live in Different States
Decrees of divorce are mainly governed by state divorce laws. If you live in South Carolina and your spouse has moved to another state, then where your divorce is filed and decided may have a direct impact on the conditions of the divorce. These include:
- Residency requirements
- Grounds for divorce
- Spousal/child support
- Child custody
- Property division
Trying to figure out the differences between the two states can quickly get confusing. You will need a knowledgeable divorce attorney to work within the different requirements that the two states present.
4. You Share Substantial Assets
If you and your spouse have accumulated substantial assets during the time that you were married and there are no pre- or post-nuptial agreements dictating their division, then you will definitely need a divorce attorney. In addition to your attorney, you will probably want to hire the services of a financial planner.
You may want to take measures to divide the wealth you and your spouse accumulated through the course of your marriage. However, splitting up, selling off, reassigning ownership, and other financial tactics can have long-term tax consequences and future financial impact. Your divorce attorney will help you to assemble the financial team you will need during divorce.
William C. Hood, Attorney At Law can help you navigate the difficult legal process a divorce can present. Give us a call so we can help you.