In Florida, you don’t actually need a divorce lawyer to get a divorce. If legal fees are going to be a major financial burden, you can choose to invest your own time and risk going it alone. But as many couples discover, this isn’t the best option. There are a number of reasons that a divorce lawyer is the right call.
Saves You Time
It’s totally possible to get a divorce without working with an attorney. You’d just have to be willing to wade through the paperwork on your own. There’s a number of Florida couples that try to go through this. But it’s really a question of how much your time is worth.
For many people, it will take hours and hours, weekends and weekends, to go through the process on their own. If your time is worth more than attorney’s fees (which are low for divorce), then you’ll want to get a lawyer to help you out.
Lawyers can draw up a divorce contract in no time at all. Since lawyers understand legal writing and jargon, they can help make sure the contract is airtight. One thing that can happen with divorce papers is a later challenge or misunderstanding.
Even if you agree on everything now, you or your spouse may disagree later. In that case, the actual language of the divorce contract becomes really important. If the contract is contested in court, you could lose all your agreements if a phrase or sentence is in the wrong spot.
Put Your Energy in the Right Place
Divorce is an exhausting, time consuming process. People only have so much decision making willpower and emotional bandwidth. You’ll probably be spending all of this energy on things outside of the formal divorce proceedings. Couples in divorce are often stuck with the logistics of rerouting finances, figuring out employment, moving, and sorting through the emotional situation.
As much as those things can interfere with the paperwork of the divorce process, the opposite is also true. If you’re trying to figure out custody and trying to move into a new apartment, your energy is best used on those things. Don’t drain yourself by also becoming an expert in contract law overnight.
Agreeing on Everything on Paper is Hard
There are two reasons that it’s actually hard to agree on everything on paper. First of all, you may think that you agree on everything, but find that the devil is in the details. Most couples think they agree on everything simply because they agree on getting a divorce, or they agree on who gets the house.
While these large-scale agreements are good, divorce has to include a lot of smaller details. Even well-meaning couples can begin to disagree about minor details simply because of the exhaustion of the process.
Agreement Can Turn Into Disagreement
Every lawyer has seen it hundreds of times. Two people who agree on everything suddenly begin to disagree as the process gets underway. Other family opinions and advice from friends enter the equation. And suddenly you disagree about a small thing, and it spirals into a bigger thing, and now you agree on nothing. Time has passed but now the divorce is turning ugly, and you both need more work from different lawyers.
The main reason you should hire a lawyer even if you agree on everything? Because hiring a lawyer is the best way to ensure that it stays that way! A lawyer can help facilitate the whole process, take the emotions and stress out of it, and let you remain on amicable terms with your ex-spouse since you don’t have to be the negotiator.