There are lots of articles online discussing the cost of hiring divorce lawyers. These articles often point to the fact of high costs for legal representation when couples were in relative agreement about the divorce, the division of property, and how to care for children of the marriage.
Unfortunately, what these articles do not address is the cost of failing to hire divorce lawyers. Completing a divorce without legal representation, known as pro se, is a risky decision which may have long-term financial implications for both parties to the divorce.
My Soon To Be Ex Has An Attorney
Often, one person in the divorce hires an attorney to review the pro se agreement and ensure everything is documented correctly and all required information is included in the court filing.
While this is a positive step over no legal review, there is still a problem with the model. An attorney is hired to represent the best interests of his or her client. In other words, divorce lawyers only represent one party to the divorce, not both people.
He or She Lied
It is not uncommon in a divorce for one party to have a better understanding of the law. This may allow one person to hide assets, transfer funds out of accounts unknown to the other party, or even fail to disclose retirement savings plans, investments or other community property and assets.
By working with a divorce lawyer, questions will be asked and information obtained to provide a fair settlement of all community property, assets, and debts. Failing to know what to ask or where to check may result in a significant cost to the individual both immediately after the divorce as well as in the years to follow.
Hiring a divorce attorney is a safe way to protect yourself through the divorce. It also provides the peace of mind all issues of the divorce are correct and legal, eliminating any future complications or concerns.
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