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Hiring a Divorce Lawyer: Do You Really Need An Attorney?

A divorce can quickly lead to a search for a divorce attorney. At that point, emotional confusion is usually joined by legal confusion and by frustration regarding whom to hire and why. Choosing a family law lawyer doesn’t have to be difficult or frustrating. I am Annette Baker. For over a decade I have helped divorcing couples work through their matters and find satisfactory resolution to their issues.

Do You Really Need A Lawyer?

I begin by assuring you truthfully that you may not need an attorney.

  1. Are you faced with a noncontested guardianship matter?

  2. Is your goal to make final an interfamily adoption?

  3. Were you in a short-term marriage?

  4. Do you and the other party agree on what needs to happen for resolution?

Over the years I have leaned that not all marriage dissolutions or family law issues require an attorney. While there are lawyers who see an uncontested divorce as an “an easy thousand” by providing unneeded services, I do not do this. If you can fill out forms and pay a few government fees to get the job done without and attorney I will tell you that.

I also frequently return a portion of my retainer fee. A frequent reply to my advice and services? “Thank you for being so honest.” While you don’t always need an attorney, if you do need one then it is important to contact one quickly. Regardless of whether you’ll need a lawyer’s services, it’s helpful (or crucial) to know your rights and options as soon as possible. By familiarizing yourself with all reasonable options, and by getting someone on your side quickly, you increase your chance for the best possible outcome. I am also a mediation-centric firm. This means I work with couples to find resolution outside of the courtroom. The mediation process is flexible, private and almost always time and money saving.

You likely have questions. Should you move out of the home? Rent an apartment? Continue contributing to your retirement account? Once you understand what the law says and what the potential benefits and ramifications of different actions are, you are better able to choose your next step. It’s important to make the right decisions now, at the beginning of your divorce proceedings. Little decisions made now can have a big impact later.

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