During these challenging economic times, people are trying to make ends meet by finding the most cost-effective way of handling essential activities. While this can be beneficial for prioritizing the daily needs of the home and family, when it comes to a DIY divorce, this may be a short-sighted approach that can have negative repercussions in the future.
Divorce is a challenging and emotional experience, and whether the person is making pragmatic financial decisions or trying to handle the emotional needs of the children, it can be overwhelming. While it may seem simpler in Florida to go it alone, there are valid reasons why this may not be the best route to go. Some of these reasons include:
- showing up in court to represent yourself can be intimidating
- you may neglect important details while negotiating, such as insurance allocation, division of property, including business ownership rights, retirement assets, or realizing that custody arrangements that may change over time
- having to handle unnecessary, time consuming and expensive motions the other side may unexpectedly file
- getting low-balled or taken advantage of by zero-sum negotiation tactics from the other side
Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that the judge will determine the allocation of marital property according to what they decide is fair, not necessarily equal. What each side brings into the courtroom will influence the judge’s final ruling.
Five reasons having a divorce attorney can help
Divorce proceedings can be contentious, complicated and confusing. There are several good reasons why it may better to consider legal representation in a divorce:
- A judge will not give a pro se litigant special treatment and holds them to the same standard as the lawyer who may be representing the other party.
- Having an objective outsider prioritize your needs and goals can prevent unnecessary conflicts pop up that may be influenced by conflicting emotions.
- A family lawyer may offer solutions based on their own knowledge of the law and experience of the court system that you never thought of.
- The paperwork can be overwhelming, and so filing the wrong forms or providing incomplete information can skew the outcome of the judge’s ruling.
- An attorney will aim for the big picture, which may involve compromise that is often hard to see when you are focused on painful feelings during that time.
The attorneys at Gufford Law Firm, P.A. serve Stuart, Port St. Lucie and the Treasure Coast in all areas of family law, and can provide reliable and effective representation to families facing the challenges of divorce.