In today’s do-it-yourself mentality, fueled by easier access to how-to information than ever before, it’s not uncommon for consumers to take on more tasks themselves. From appliance and car repairs to home buying and selling, Americans today are doing it for themselves.
When it comes to divorce, however, the implications of DIY could have long-term (and sometimes devastating) consequences. A divorce, in many ways, can define your economic and emotional future—affecting everything from debt and income to childcare and emotional well-being.
Here are our top five reasons that when it comes to divorce, DIY should stand for don’t do it yourself.
#1—Attorneys can identify and plan for potential issues. Family law attorneys typically handle dozens of divorces each year, representing a wide range of circumstances. While they know that no two divorces are exactly alike, they also know the typical problems that arise during proceedings and can help you stay ahead of them, including issues such as hidden assets and debt, parenting disputes and communicating with one another.
#2—Lawyers can better predict how courts will decide. From experience, family lawyers have a pretty good idea of what courts will deem fair as well as what they’ll likely view as unreasonable. That not only helps manage your expectations, it also helps you develop the best possible agreement likely to receive the court’s approval.
#3—Lawyers know what you are entitled to. Lawyers understand the issues you face both today and down the road and can help you understand them, too, in order to make good long-term decisions. They also understand what you’re entitled to when it comes to child placement, maintenance, assets and other issues to ensure you achieve a fair outcome.
#4—Attorneys know how to find hidden assets. Individual spouses have been known to hide assets from time to time. Divorce lawyers are familiar with that practice and know how to use the discovery process to unearth all assets in the marriage. That helps ensure both parties receive their fair share.
#5—Provide objectivity. Divorces, understandably, are often highly emotional, and it can be difficult for parties to distinguish between feelings and fairness. Divorce attorneys, while sympathizing with your situation, also know how to remain objective when it’s time to negotiate, which helps them argue more reasonably and effectively on your behalf.
By Brian Weber, Partner, Johns, Flaherty & Collins, SC. For a La Crosse divorce lawyer, call him at 608-784-5678.