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Should you have an attorney for a divorce?

| Articles | April 1, 2013

If you are thinking about a divorce or your spouse has already filed for a divorce, it is a good idea to get an attorney. This is something that you should do to protect yourself. You will have a lot of questions and you will defiantly need to have answers. You need to be made aware of all the possible outcomes and do what you need to in order to protect your future.

There is always the option of representing yourself in a divorce proceeding. However, this is not always the recommendation. If there are serious questions involved like children or assets, it is better to have the assistance of an attorney. The attorney can represent only one of the parities involved. If you are not able to afford an attorney, the judge may seek assistance for you from your spouse.

One reason to get an attorney for a divorce proceeding is because there may be spousal support involved. This is called alimony. Depending on the length of time you were married, the age and health of the parties involved, and the ability for one of the parties to earn income and maintain the marital standard of living, the court may order support paid by one spouse to another. This is different question from child support.

Spousal support can be for a limited time period or for an indefinite period depending on the circumstances. It can be reviewed if there is a significant change in the circumstances of either the former spouse. If the spousal support question is waived, then the party giving up the support may not ever come back to ask the court to award it again.

You may also want to have an attorney to protect pensions and retirement accounts. Pensions and retirement are marital property and it can be divided in a divorce. They can be given a present value based on the kind of pension and the parties’ rights to receive an income from that pension. Usually the court system is fair in this decision, but an attorney will fight for your rights and make sure that your side of the fight is heard.

If you are not happy with the attorney that you have hired, you should defiantly talk to them about it. Explain your case and make them understand why you are not happy with their work. If you cannot work out the situation with your attorney, you do have the right to find another attorney at any point in the game.

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