If you and your spouse are having an amicable split and neither of you has chosen to contest anything in the divorce petition, you might think an attorney is unnecessary. There are couples capable of a “no fuss” divorce, but representation from an experienced attorney is still important. The important thing each spouse should understand is that they are transitioning from a couple to an individual again, and as such, they must do whatever it takes to protect their individual interests. Even if you trust your soon-to-be-former spouse to not take advantage of you, strong legal representation is still a necessity.
What Can an Attorney Do?
A divorce attorney is an important asset to have right from the beginning. Every divorce requires paperwork and if not completed properly it can delay the proceedings. Your divorce attorney will review the paperwork with you and ensure it is completed properly before submitting it to the court.
An experienced attorney is also able to keep the divorce proceedings moving forward. Even if any issues arise, an attorney is able to sort them out and move onto the next step. He or she might also be capable of initiating a mediation that allows divorcing spouses to compromise on various issues, though a third-party mediator will be necessary to oversee those proceedings.
Uncontested divorce is not for everyone. If you and your spouse are joint owners of property or you share debts, uncontested divorce might be too simple to settle these issues. Likewise if your children have out of the ordinary needs. Standard custody issues can be settled in an uncontested divorce, but anything more complicated might require intervention by the court.
Each Spouse Needs an Attorney
No matter if your divorce is contested or uncontested a single attorney is not authorized to represent both you and your spouse. If you have a family attorney or assume you can hire just one attorney because your divorce is uncontested, this is not the case. The law does not allow one lawyer to provide representation to both divorcing spouses. It is common for only one spouse to be represented during an uncontested divorce, but this is risky for the non-represented spouse.
Uncontested divorce saves time and money, even when two attorneys are hired. The process takes less time because there is less bickering and less of a need to build a strong case. Fewer hours spent on your case means less money.
If you are considering divorce, or divorce proceedings have begun – contested or uncontested – and you need an attorney, contact Michele Cline to schedule a consultation.