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Top Ten Reasons You Need An Attorney for Your Divorce

Posted by Corrie Sirkin | Sep 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

I have heard from potential clients the following: I found a divorce packet online from <insert County or Organization here>. Can I process my own divorce? Yes, that divorce packet will provide you some information. If your divorce is truly simple with two working spouses who make a similar amount, no assets and no children; then, processing your own divorce may be an option. If your case involves anything more than that; then, you should hire an attorney for your divorce.

  1. Custody. Custody may be at issue. For many people, care and custody of their children is the most important aspect of their divorce. There are many factors that are considered in a custody determination and having an attorney is important to help you navigate the process as well as prepare for the future. An attorney will also help you protect your parental rights.
  2. Spousal Support. If there is a disparity in income, spousal support may be contested. Even if both parties are working, spousal support may still be at issue.
  3. Child Support. Child support calculators do not explain all of the facts and circumstances involved in a child support calculation. In addition to gross income, health insurance payments are also factored in the calculation. Work related child care is also part of the calculation. Pensions in payment status and some military pay are also included.
  4. Marital Home. An attorney can help you evaluate what is the best course of action with regards to the marital home. Do you want to remain in the marital home? Can you afford the costs of the home? Can you afford to provide your spouse with their half of the equity via refinance or other assets? Do you want to sell the marital home? What are the tax implications of selling your home? An attorney can also advise you on other real estate properties such as vacation homes, business properties or rental properties.
  5. Business. If either party owns a business; then, the divorce can be very complicated. The value of the business is difficult to ascertain and an attorney will be able to help you ask the right questions and find the right professionals like an appraiser.
  6. Retirement Assets. Retirement assets such as pensions, IRA's, 401k's and Thrift Savings Plans will need to be evaluated and potentially distributed.   Some retirement assets require a QDRO in order to distribute certain types of accounts.
  7. Debts. Different types of debts have different tax and credit implications. Mortgages, home equity lines of credit, car loans, credit cards, and personal loans are all potential debts to be equitably distributed. Failing to protect your interests may cause you to have credit issues for many years to come.
  8. Child(ren) with Special Needs. If you have a child or children with special needs, child support may be increased and  extended past high school. The parties may need to designate one parent to make decisions in an impasse for IEPs or 504s and other important decisions. The parents may need to consider whether a special needs trust should be established. There are numerous other concerns if a child has substantial deficits that a qualified, experienced attorney will help you address.
  9. Discovery. If you don't know what your spouse or you have in assets, hiring an attorney may be invaluable. Even if you know what you have, you may not understand what is subject to equitable distribution and what is exempt.
  10. Alone. Going it alone is a daunting and frightening process. Emotions run high and an attorney can help you focus on what is most important to you. Lawyers can help you assess your case, negotiate your best possible outcome, and protect your rights.

About the Author

Corrie Sirkin

Corrie Sirkin is a conscientious, energetic, smart and capable attorney. Corrie Sirkin has practiced family law exclusively throughout her career. She provides experienced services in areas of family law which include divorce, child custody, visitation, paternity, child support, equitable distrib...

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