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Do I Need an Attorney in a Divorce?

If you're contemplating getting a divorce, you may be thinking about trying to go through the process on your own and whether you really do need a divorce attorney. Even though there are thousands of blogs, self-help sites, and legal advice websites at your disposal, it can be challenging to determine whether you are getting sound advice.

However, when you enlist the services of a California divorce lawyer, you know for certain that your rights are being protected. Here are a few ways in which it is crucial to hire an experienced family law attorney to assist you with your divorce.

An Attorney Can Explain Your Rights

While you might be hesitant to hire an attorney to assist you with your divorce, it's important to understand that experienced divorce lawyers know the law, especially pertaining to your state. Every state has different divorce requirements, so unless you're confident in your ability to interpret statutes and correctly complete legal paperwork, you might consult with a family law attorney in your area.

It's a good idea to interview a few attorneys before you decide on one. You should ask whether the attorney is in favor of alternative dispute resolution­—or, mediation—to resolve disputes. If yes, then your attorney will probably not advocate for a trial unless your spouse is uncooperative or unreasonable. If the attorney you interview doesn't have experience with negotiations, settlements, or is a zealous advocate of litigation, you might want to move on with your search.

When Should You Hire an Attorney?

There are certain situations where you should always hire an attorney. If there's a history of domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, or sexual abuse, hiring an attorney is the best way to protect your rights. When there is a power imbalance and/or violence between partners, a fair negotiation can become impossible.

If your spouse hires an attorney, you should do the same. Although you might feel like you can represent yourself in your divorce, when one side has an attorney and the other doesn't, it often results in the unrepresented party walking away without a fair deal. Do yourself a favor, hire an attorney, and level the playing field.

Although no divorce is pleasant, some are outright unbearable, especially if the other party in your case is hiding assets, destroying property, wasting marital funds, or threatening you with physical or financial ruin for filing for divorce.

If you find that you can't work with your spouse, hiring a qualified attorney to represent you may be your only option. Not only will the attorney advocate for your rights throughout the divorce, but there's also no question that you will feel some relief from the stress of your divorce knowing that you have someone in your corner.

If you need help with your divorce, call the San Bernardino divorce lawyers at Law Office of Michael R. Young today at (909) 315-4588.