If you are contemplating a divorce, it is only natural to have many questions and concerns — particularly if there are children involved. Concern about finances will likely be one of your biggest concerns, not necessarily for yourself but for your ability to take proper care of your children after the divorce. Because of this, many people think that they can save money by navigating this complicated process without legal guidance. While it is legal to handle your own divorce, it will be challenging and extremely complicated.
You will need a comprehensive knowledge of Texas divorce laws and particular details about the manner in which your jurisdiction handles divorces. At the same time, you will have to keep in mind that the slightest error or omission can lead to litigation in the future — which can be much more costly than retaining a skilled divorce attorney from the outset.
Even if you are adamant that you can save the expenses of hiring an attorney, it could do no harm consulting with an experienced divorce lawyer to discuss what such a professional could do for you, and the approximate cost of his or her services.
Some of the benefits of having a seasoned divorce attorney on your side include the following:
- Knowledge of laws — Divorce lawyers study the laws of their particular field for many years and make a point of staying up to date with any changes in divorce laws. If you want to do this on your own, you will have to gain all that knowledge in a very short time — while also dealing with your personal challenges, the kids, making difficult decisions and more.
- Administrative process — Part of a divorce lawyer’s daily routine is to file the right papers, at the right time and at the right place. Furthermore, he or she will know what requests to make, and when to make them. You will also need to research those steps in advance.
- Experienced negotiator — The fact that you are considering filing for divorce may be proof of communication problems between you and your spouse. How difficult will it be to enter into negotiations with you ex’s legal representative about all things dear and important to you? Your lawyer can utilize experience and skills to negotiate child custody, alimony, property division and debt-related issues while making sure you understand the applicable laws.
- Court procedure familiarity — For a person who is in and out of family and divorce courts every day, who is also familiar with the court procedures, the judges and other attorneys may have a significant advantage that you will not have.
- Neutral party — Although your attorney will want to know as much as possible about the unique dynamics of your family, he or she will remain neutral. That will enable the lawyer to navigate your divorce without the emotional baggage that you may find difficult — if not impossible — to leave behind.
If, after all this, you still want to handle your divorce on your own — here is one more thing to consider. This will not only be an extremely stressful and daunting time for you, but it could also prove to be a difficult time for your children as well. Acquiring legal assistance would free up invaluable time for you to tend to your children during this challenging period. Hiring an experienced Texas divorce attorney may cost some money, but might be worth the prospect of a reasonably stress-free divorce for you and your children.