What do you need from your lawyer when going through divorce?
Before you hire an attorney, keep this in mind: unless the court finds that circumstances necessitate that a lawyer be appointed for you in your divorce action (and being poor is NOT one of those circumstances, so if you wondered if being poor gets you a “free” or “court-appointed” lawyer, it doesn’t), you are not required to hire or utilize the services of a lawyer in the course of your divorce action.
How do you determine whether you need an attorney to represent you or otherwise help you in the course of your divorce action? Easy.
Unless you know the law in your jurisdiction and how it is construed and applied in your jurisdiction, you could benefit (and likely benefit greatly) from hiring a lawyer to help protect you from being taken advantage of by your spouse, to help protect you from the natural consequences of your own ignorance and lack of legal expertise, and to help you advance your interests and maximize the outcome of the case in a manner beneficial to you and your children (if you have children).
Is do it yourself divorce something that most people can handle effectively? No. Even couples who believe they can work out their differences between them and procure an uncontested divorce are usually naively mistaken. Divorce law is complex and counter intuitive enough as to burn non-professionals. And the difficulty, anxiety, and misery of divorce only intensifies in contested cases.
What do you need from your lawyer when going through divorce? Here are the bare minimums:
- good character – most divorce lawyers lack this, so do not presume that just because a lawyer has a law license that he/she will be honest and fair. If you believe an unscrupulous lawyer will give you an advantage, just remember that he who will lie for you will also lie to you.
- someone who will be candid with you regarding the merits of your case
- intelligence and high analytical ability
- attention to detail, focus, and the work ethic
- mastery-level knowledge of divorce law
- mastery-level skill as a legal practitioner
- someone who believes in being paid what his/her services are worth—no more, no less.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277