Q&A: Why You Need a Lawyer for Divorce
This week, my Monday Morning Message will be a little different. I’ll be taking you through my Q+A with Blanca Greenstein on why hiring an attorney is usually a good option when considering divorce.
Do you always need a lawyer to get divorced?
If you have an uncontested matter, no children, and nothing to split up or divide and there is no alimony being paid, then I would say you don’t need a lawyer. You can simply download the Simplified Divorce Form from the Florida Supreme Court, fill it out and follow the instructions. You will have to pay a filing fee but it is fairly easy to get through the process.
When would one be well advised to consult with and hire a lawyer?
If you have assets to divide or children together, you will want to hire a lawyer because a Parenting Plan with timesharing and parental responsibility is required. Child support figures that are mandated by court and alimony issues are best served by hiring an attorney.
What about paying for the lawyer?
You have invested years in your marriage and ensuring that you are getting what you are entitled to as a matter of law and assuring that the terms of a settlement are inclusive of things you likely will not think about is key. It is money well spent to avoid costly mistakes, such as sloppy agreements, in the long run. The expense of a lawyer is directly in line with how complicated the issues of the marital estate, but even more telling as to the cost is how cooperative the parties are. Cooperation between the parties is the best way to keep costs down.
Assuming that the parties are able to cooperate then what is the role of the lawyer?
- Gathering the full picture of the marital estate
- Assuring that the client understands what they are entitled to as a matter of law
- Work with the client on a viable parenting plan that works for the family
- Calculate support numbers
- Create a proposed plan of distribution of the assets and liabilities
- Settlement and or by mediation or otherwise
- Draft the agreement and obtain from the court a final judgment of divorce approving the settlement agreement and Parenting Plan and incorporating into the judgment.
So what if people want to figure out how to get started or are in limbo about divorce?
I created a free Zoom workshop for you. Join me on March 17 from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm EST to learn about our thoughts on divorce and how to transform them into thoughts that serve us, the different ways to get divorced, and how to get started with a plan. Sign up now!