I'm getting a divorce- do I need an attorney?

Whether or not you need to hire an attorney to help mitigate the enormous stress of a divorce is a complex personal question, and it depends on what point in your life you find yourself, as well as your ability to handle paperwork, juggle your schedule, and be reasonable and courteous when negotiating with your spouse.

A few simple rules- you need an attorney if:

-          You have minor children. Balancing your rights with the need to put your children first is complicated, and too important to go it alone.

-          You have non-cash assets. Managing the long-term values of different types of assets is challenging, and it’s easy to make mistakes and wind up with an unfair result.

-          You carry significant debt. You have to be vigilant to prevent carrying debt from the actions of your ex. Attacking these issues early can save you a fortune down the road.

-          You or your spouse own all or part of a business. Making sure that your divorce doesn’t disrupt business operations or cause an unintended transfer of interest is a critical component of a fair divorce disposition.

-          There was domestic violence in your marriage. Violence affects every element of a divorce, and usually makes fruitful, fair negotiations difficult or impossible.

In the end, it’s up to you to balance the cost of an attorney with what’s at stake and make the right decision.

For more information about divorce, custody, and your rights, please attend Joseph’s free seminar and question and answer clinic on December 17th at 5:30 PM. It’s at the Wasatch County Senior Center, classroom 159.