Should I hire a family law attorney?
Whether or not to hire an attorney is a personal decision. You are not required to hire an attorney when you are going through a family law matter. However, if you are representing yourself you will be expected to follow court procedures, file the appropriate pleadings, and present your case. If you do not have an attorney you are appearing pro se. Hiring an attorney can help you to protect your interests and save time when navigating the court process. Attorneys that specialize in family law are well versed in the law and court procedures. Family law matters can often be complicated and the assistance of a professional may be necessary.
When should I hire an attorney?
There is no right or wrong time to hire an attorney. Many people choose to hire an attorney from the start of their family law action. This allows for your attorney to have all information from the onset of the action, and to allow for you and your attorney to formulate a plan from the very beginning. If you have started a family law action without an attorney you can hire an attorney at any point during the pending action.
There are several instances in which you should strongly consider hiring an attorney to assist you with your family law matter. Some examples include:
- Abuse. If there has been domestic abuse you should strongly consider hiring an attorney. An attorney can advise you of statutory protections that apply in instances of abuse. An attorney can help you to put protective measures in place to protect you and your children.
- There are contested child related issues. If there is a disagreement regarding custody and placement you should consider hiring an attorney to assist you.
- There are complicated financial issues. If your case involves self-employment income, a privately owned business, gifts and inheritances, substantial assets accumulated prior to the marriage, or prenuptial/postnuptial agreements you should seriously consider hiring an attorney. An attorney can help you to ensure that assets are disclosed, properly valued, and advise you on the division of these assets.
- Your spouse has hired an attorney. If your spouse has hired an attorney you should consider consulting an attorney to represent you.
If you have questions regarding your family law matter contact one of the experienced family law attorneys at Lawton Cates.