Do I need a attorney for uncontested divorce? Why? 13 Answers as of May 28, 2015

My husband and I are going to get divorced and we have already talked about and settled everything, from child custody to division of property and finances. Do we really need a lawyer to continue with the divorce proceedings?

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Law Offices of Robert Burns
Law Offices of Robert Burns | Robert Burns
Yes, of course. Either hire one or two and/or utilize the free services of the Family Law Facilitator at your Courthouse in self-representation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/28/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
I could not say whether or not your spouse needs a lawyer. But you do. Chances are this is your first divorce. Or if not your first, then your second. An experienced matrimonial lawyer will have done 400 or 500 divorces or more. Consequently s/he will be able to identify more potential pitfalls than a lay person. It's almost always worth the investment. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/28/2015
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
I have encountered many situations in my 37 years of practice where the parties with good intentions did not properly prepare the documents necessary to complete their divorce. It's best to review anything that you're doing with an experienced family law attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/28/2015
Law Office of Martin A. Kahan | Martin A. Kahan
If you have a complete agreement, you can file it as an uncontested matter and get help from the self help desk at the courthouse.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/28/2015
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
It think so, as it is only the rest of your life and it is easy to miss an issue or provision which could bite you in the future. At least getting a review help with the drafting of the judgment reflecting your agreement is, in my book, mandatory.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/27/2015
    John Russo | John Russo
    No do everything yourself and then a couple of years down the road see what happens.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    GordenLaw, LLC
    GordenLaw, LLC | Vanessa J. Gorden
    I have seen so many problems when trying to hold someone in contempt or modify issues with children or child support later that it would be in your best interest to at least consult with an attorney or hire one on a limited basis to draft your documents, especially where there are children involved, or retirement accounts, or real property, or debts to divide. The pro se forms just do not provide enough help in those areas, as they are geared towards those who truly cannot hire legal help in any form (and thus do not have those financial issues). Best wishes!
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
    No, as you are aware, a non-lawyer can represent oneself but not another person or entity. You state that there is an agreement about ALL of the issues and seem to be happy about it. So what can be wrong? Have you taken into account any IRA, 401(k), or pension, responsibility of debts, specifics about custody and visitation? If so, that is another plus for you. But you might need a lawyer to prepare the paperwork. And to evaluate the overall settlement. One thing to consider: Whether true or not, Clark Howard, a nationally syndicated radio host who answers financial questions once said in divorce matters women respond initially in an emotional fashion while men are detailed pragmatist. He inferred In financial matters this gives the edge to the man. As a lawyer I would always recommend an assessment by a lawyer. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
    You don't have to have a lawyer ever for anything. But if you don't get it right ignorance of the law will not be an excuse and you may not be able to fix it.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    Some people go to a legal forms store, buy a packet with the forms needed for filing a no-fault divorce, follow the directions and get through the procedure without making any mistakes.Some do not. Some people also successfully form and register their own business entities or write their own wills without the assistance of an attorney. Sometimes it works out successfully and sometimes it does not. Where things do not go as smoothly as the persons involved would have liked they often then retain counsel to straighten out matters. When they do the also sometimes discover issues that no one considered when they engaged in the transaction without counsel. I would at least speak with an attorney ahead of time to see if there are any issues neither of you considered such as transfers of title to marital property and allocation of marital debt.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    You do not absolutely need an attorney for a divorce HOWEVER a divorce judgment locks you in to a position that you cannot change. Further whether or not you think it is fair is different than if if follows state standards The best advise I can give is to hire an attorney to review your proposed judgment even if you believe you have settled everything.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    Diane l. Berger | Diane L. Berger
    There is no law that says you need to hire an attorney. If you are absolutely comfortable that you know all of your assets and all of your debts and you are perfectly satisfied with the arrangements for your child/children, that could be the end of that. I personally would suggest that you hire an attorney for the very limited purpose of reviewing all of your documents to be certain they are in proper form. This would be what is called limited representation and should only be a nominal fee.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida | Dennis J. Leffert, J.D.
    No you do not. Have you considered mediation? Mediation is fast, effective and affordable. The mediator can properly prepare the agreement.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/27/2015
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