Like most people going through a divorce, this may be your first experience with the process, at least first hand. You may have stood by friends or family as they struggled through their divorces, but now you are on the inside, and it feels much different. First of all, you are emotionally invested, and you are likely feeling levels of confusion and anxiety you have never felt before.
However, their own inexperience and emotion are only two of the reasons why many in Florida seek the counsel of an attorney, even if they are expecting a relatively simple divorce. If you have children, complex assets such as a business, joint property and debts, you may not realize how complicated things can get. An attorney can advise you of your rights and work to ensure their protection.
Divorce is more complicated than you think
Many people think one divorce is the same as the other, and you may not realize how often the laws concerning family matters change. Attorneys make it their job to know and understand any changes in the laws and how to apply them to your circumstances.
Divorce is not always simply a matter of dividing furniture. You must be aware of tax implications, debt responsibilities and custody matters, to name a few issues. The decisions made at your settlement may haunt you for years to come and can result in financial struggle and estrangement from your children.
The advantages of legal representation
While you may be tempted to save some money and handle it on your own, interviewing several attorneys is recommended. You may find someone with whom you can easily relate who can offer you some peace of mind. Some benefits of having an attorney on your side throughout a divorce include the following:
- Experience with local courts, judges and opposing attorneys
- Knowledge of state laws regarding the division of property
- Understanding of the documentation required and how and when to file petitions and requests
- Care and attention to your parental rights during custody disputes
- Ability to handle legal matters while you focus on your family
- Skill at negotiating for your best interests during the settlement process
If your hope is to leave the marriage without the consequences of a confrontational divorce, the right attorney can guide you through alternative dispute resolution. A divorce attorney can be an unemotional and experienced advocate for you. However, it is important that you do your homework to find a legal advocate who understands your goals and will work to help you achieve them, whether in court or at the negotiating table.