Seek Legal Advice ASAP if These Pertain to Your Divorce
Some divorce processes are pretty straightforward. Others are quite complex. Since each divorce case is unique, it can be hard to know whether you need legal help or not.
In an ideal world, uncontested divorce would be the norm for couples who are splitting up. Imagine a scenario where both parties agree on every aspect of their parting, from the division of property to child custody arrangements. They have open lines of communication, and they've managed to keep their emotions in check.
But we know reality is often far from perfect. Let's explore some hypothetical situations where legal advice or retaining a lawyer could be crucial.
Complex financial situations
Consider John and Jane, a wealthy couple with complex financial portfolios. They own multiple properties, have substantial retirement funds and investments, and perhaps even share a business venture.
The division of their complex and high-value marital assets may be fraught with legal complexities. In this case, both John and Jane would benefit from getting some expert legal advice to ensure a fair division of their assets. They might not need to retain lawyers for the entire divorce process, but they would do well to consult a legal expert before proceeding.
Next, let's look at Mike and Mary, parents to two minor children. While they agree on most matters, they can't agree on what child custody should look like.
In such a situation, it might be necessary to retain a lawyer who specializes in family law. A lawyer can protect their rights and interests and ensure the best outcome for the kids. They might also look at Hello Divorce’s online Mediation plan, which has divorce mediation services built into the online divorce procedure.
Abuse or safety concerns
Let's consider the case of Sarah, a victim of domestic abuse who feels intimidated by her spouse, David. She worries about her safety and the potential for David to manipulate the divorce process.
In such a situation, Sarah should immediately seek legal help. Retaining a lawyer could provide her with the necessary protection, ensuring she isn't coerced into an unfair agreement.
Alimony or spousal support issues
Take the case of Lisa and Leo. Lisa has been a stay-at-home mom for their kids while Leo has been the primary breadwinner. In such a scenario, figuring out spousal support and child support payments can be complex. Although Lisa may not need a divorce lawyer, she should seek legal advice to help her get on track for a fair settlement that will help her get the spousal maintenance she needs to maintain a reasonable standard of living for herself and her kids.
Max and Molly set up a prenuptial agreement before marriage. Now, as they're divorcing, they need to understand how the agreement impacts their divorce settlement.
Working with an experienced attorney to interpret the agreement accurately would be very helpful. During an advice session, their attorney could help them understand how the language in the agreement affects their marital settlement agreement.
In the case of Alex and Ava, Alex is an active-duty military member. The rules surrounding divorce in their state may differ significantly from civilian divorces in their state. Ava is unsure how to proceed. She may not need a lawyer to defend her in court, but she should seek legal advice to understand her rights and how to navigate this specialized area of law.
Living in different states or countries
Suppose Sam and Susan live in different states. The laws governing divorce vary from state to state, making this process more complicated for them. Should they adhere to the laws in Sam’s state or in Susan’s state?
Both parties would benefit from seeking legal advice to understand how the differing state laws might impact their divorce proceedings.
FAQ about seeking legal advice during divorce
When should I seek legal advice in my divorce?
If you're dealing with complex assets, disagreement over child custody, or cases of domestic abuse, it's crucial to seek legal advice immediately. Even in uncontested divorces, consulting a lawyer can ensure your interests are adequately protected. This does not mean you have to pay a hefty retainer fee and pay them a lot of money; it could be as simple as a flat-rate meeting with an attorney to provide information and advice.
In cases of domestic abuse, how is legal advice beneficial?
If you're a victim of domestic abuse, seeking legal advice is paramount. A lawyer can provide the necessary protection, ensure you're not coerced into an unfair agreement, and guide you through legal measures to secure your safety.
Can legal advice help with child custody disagreements?
Absolutely. A lawyer specializing in family law can protect your rights and interests while prioritizing the well-being of your children. They can guide you through custody laws, help formulate parenting plans, and represent you in court if necessary.
In many of the situations above, expensive legal representation in court would not be required. Instead, the people facing divorce could benefit from a meeting or two with a legal coach familiar with divorce law.
At Hello Divorce, we believe in a different approach. We offer a range of services tailored to meet your unique needs: hourly legal coaching, mediation to help you agree on the division of property and other terms of your divorce, and financial guidance and planning, to name a few. We also offer a menu of online divorce plans, including a DIY option, to suit your needs and budget.