In 2013, the American Bar Association reviewed a number of studies involving people going to court without legal counsel. Based on these studies, the American Bar Association concluded that anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of all family law cases have at least one party without legal representation. More and more married couples are choosing to divorce without the help of a lawyer. If you're thinking about doing the same, here is some information about the many benefits of legal counsel for family law cases.
Why do divorcing couples need legal representation?
As you probably know, divorce is a stressful process for all parties involved. Not only are emotions at an all-time high, but there is also a deep awareness of the fact that decisions made during the divorce process tend to have a lasting effect on the future. For example, after a divorce, a spouse may need to pay child support for up to 18 years. Therefore, both spouses want the outcome of the case to reflect their best interests.
Two major issues identified in multiple studies of unrepresented parties are:
- Less time to spend with family. Divorce is hard on not just the parents but also the children. The negative impact of divorce on children was often more prominent in cases involving unrepresented parents. Typically, the parents spent hours each day working on the divorce case. Usually, a child's need for attention is highest during the divorce process. Parents without legal counsel work on the divorce case instead of paying attention to their children.
- Reduction of the bottom line. People who divorce without legal counsel often do so to save money. Undoubtedly, legal fees will be minimal if you don't hire a lawyer. However, it is possible that you will pay more in the long-term. Without the help of a lawyer, child support, the final property division determination settlement, and alimony payments may not reflect your best interests. After the divorce is settled, you may need to return to court to make modifications. As a result, it is important to hire a lawyer to ensure everything is done correctly the first time.
Even though you may be tempted to divorce without legal counsel to save money, you will likely be much better off hiring a lawyer to represent your case. The experienced attorneys at Law Office of Keith B. Schulefand have the knowledge and expertise required to fight for your interests.