Most people believe that the biggest expense of their divorce will be the cost of an attorney. There are many fees that need to be paid and also court costs to consider, but it is true that attorney fees can add up quickly. However, not having the advice of a lawyer can cost you dearly.
If you are one of the lucky couples who agree to work together to make decisions and draw up an agreement, congratulations. Cooperation should be your best friend during the divorce process. Being able to negotiate with your spouse and to write your own agreement will save you a lot of time and money. However, even if both spouses agree to everything, you should still have an attorney look over the paperwork.
This may seem like a waste of money, but lawyers are skilled at finding mistakes in paperwork. They also have the knowledge of anything you may have forgotten to add to your agreement. You probably considered how to divide your assets and liabilities, where your children will live and about spousal and child support. Did you also consider the income tax implications of your divorce? Who will be able to use the children as dependents? For how long? What about any retirement plans you may have or Social Security benefits? Are you sure the support amounts you agreed to are enough?
An attorney knows exactly what to look for in any divorce settlement. The cost of having your settlement looked at by a lawyer will be minimal compared to any mistakes you may have made or items that have been forgotten.
Unfortunately, many times, both spouses require a lawyer because they are arguing about everything and refuse to negotiate. When this happens, your lawyers are the true winners, as every time they need to go to court and argue about what you want, you will owe them more money. You definitely need an attorney to make sure your spouse and his/her attorney are not taking advantage of you.
In most cases of divorce, even in amicable divorces, it is a good idea to hire an attorney. The only thing you may need from them is to check over your agreement, but this settlement is so important. What is written in your agreement will affect the rest of your life and you need to be sure every detail is covered. An attorney will do this for you.
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