Should I retain an Attorney for my Divorce in Orange County?
You are perhaps wondering, "Do I Need an Attorney for my Divorce in the OC?" Every dissolution is different, and every couple is unique. There is no law stating you need to hire a divorce attorney in order to legally divorce in California.
However, no matter what type of legal situation you are dealing with, divorce included, it is always in your best interest to consult an attorney for legal advice, even if you choose a form of alternative dispute resolution, like mediation, to handle your divorce.
When Should I Contact a Divorce Attorney?
Divorce attorneys have a wealth of knowledge about California divorce law, and the skills and experience to understand how to navigate the legal system. They can help you to make the best decisions for you and your family in what can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life.
If you are considering divorce, or you think you are ready but unsure of your options, contacting a divorce attorney to discuss your situation can give you an idea of what to expect if you decide to go through with a dissolution. This includes the cost, length of time, and how your life, and your children’s lives, could change.
If you have decided you are ready for a dissolution, contact an attorney. If you or your children are facing abuse or domestic violence, your attorney can help you protect yourself and your family throughout the divorce process, especially in notifying the other party of the divorce. An attorney can also help you act quickly in obtaining any protective orders, support orders or custody orders that may be necessary.
If you have been served with divorce papers, your spouse has likely already contacted an attorney. While in some cases, when both spouses are on good terms, have few assets or are mutually agreeing to a divorce, mediation with a single attorney may be an option. If your attorney has served you with dissolution papers, you will need your own attorney in order to stay on a level playing field.
It is critical you contact an attorney if you are suspicious that your spouse wants a divorce, but is intentionally hiding it from you, or if your spouse may be intentionally hiding or spending your marital assets. Although hiding assets is illegal, acting quickly can prevent things from getting out of hand.
Benefits of Hiring a Skilled Orange County Divorce Attorney
The biggest reason to hire a divorce attorney during your divorce is to make sure you are covering all of your bases. An OC divorce lawyer has gone to school, been trained in divorce law, and continually works with the law, so he or she can be sure about the dissolution process. But the average person is not aware of what they do not know.
Online or do it yourself dissolution kits often do not consider things like the cost of sending children to college ten years down the road, the effect of taxes on your assets, or the proper division of debts and assets. An attorney has the knowledge and experience to address these concerns during the divorce process. Hiring a dissolution attorney can help ensure you avoid mistakes in your divorce.
Your OC divorce lawyer also has experience working with the local judges, clerks to the court, and other attorneys, and understands how the process works in your area. Working with an attorney who is familiar with the law can help reduce the stress you have to deal with during your dissolution.
Laws are constantly changing. Your attorney will be up to date on the latest changes to divorce law; will understand how they affect your case and how to use the changes to your benefit, if possible.
Lawyers are especially important in divorces if the couple has been married for a long time, if the couple has children, if the couple has numerous assets and debts, or if the couple cannot agree or communicate well.
Alternative Dispute Resolution and Divorce Lawyers
Some divorces or separations take place outside of the court. Alternative Dispute Resolutions can offer numerous benefits to the couple: it allows the couple to have more control over the outcome of the divorce, it is often less costly, and it can minimize stress, especially on children, if they are not required to appear in court.
So, do you need an attorney if your dissolution is resolved through divorce mediation or a collaborative divorce?
In order to go through mediation, you and your spouse need to hire a mediator. Mediators are often attorneys, but they do not have to be. Even though you cannot bring an attorney with you into mediation with your spouse and your mediator, it is a good idea to retain a divorce attorney. You should consult with your lawyer throughout the process and have your attorney look over the mediation agreement prior to submitting it to a judge.
During the process of a collaborative divorce, both parties negotiate a dissolution agreement with the help of a professionally trained collaborative lawyer. In order to use collaborative law, you and your partner will both need to hire collaborative law attorneys.
Is it Ever Appropriate to Divorce Without Consulting a Divorce Lawyer?
It may be okay to consider approaching divorce without an attorney only in very specific circumstances. If you and your spouse have been married for a short period of time, have no children, no debts, very few assets, your spouse has not hired an attorney and you are on good terms with one another, you may be able to handle a divorce without an attorney. Even so, in order to ensure your divorce turns out the way you want it to, consulting an attorney is advised.
If you are still wondering, "Do I Need an Attorney for my Divorce in the OC?", perhaps it's time you Consult a Skilled Orange County Divorce Lawyer
In most cases, if you are going through a dissolution or about to start the process of a dissolution, you will need to consult a divorce attorney. Contact the compassionate attorneys at Yanez & Associates to schedule your free initial consultation and discuss your situation and your goals for your family.