In many areas, a divorcing couple is allowed to write out their own agreement and have it filed with the court, and may not need the intervention of a judge or attorneys. While it may be tempting to try to do this if you and your spouse are separating, there are some very good reasons to think about at least consulting with an attorney throughout this process. Consider a few of those reasons here.
1. The laws may not work as you assume
Many couples assume certain things about how the law works when they're getting a divorce, and then write up their agreement accordingly. However, laws are different from location to location and change over time. As an example, it's no longer standard that a woman gets the family home and a certain portion of the man's paycheck as support. She may need to split any equity in the home with him if she does keep it, and if she works or is capable of working, she may get little to no support.
Child custody laws have also changed in much the same way. It's easier for men to get full custody or joint custody of their children than ever before. This is why it's never good for a divorcing couple to assume anything about the law but instead, consult with an attorney so you can structure your agreement accordingly.
2. You may not be thinking of the future
When a couple writes up their own divorce agreement, they may not be thinking of how their situation will change in the future. For instance, a man may agree to give a certain amount of financial support to the woman, but what if he loses his job or gets a cut in pay? What if she remarries or moves in with someone? What if she gets a new job? Those things should affect the amount of support he pays and a divorce attorney will know to add them to the agreement so it covers any changes they face in the future.
3. Your agreement might be vaguely worded
Any legal agreement needs to be worded properly so there are no questions or challenges to that agreement down the road. This is true of a divorce agreement as well as any other type of legal document. While you and your spouse may be able to write up your own divorce agreement, it's recommended that you have an attorney (such as the Law office of Kristine A. Michael, P.C.) at least review it so he or she can ensure it's worded in such a way that there will be no questions or challenges at a later date.
Hello, I'm Phillip Kerr and I just love the legal profession and courtroom drama. Have you ever watched judge shows on TV? I know that these shows are not an accurate representation of the courtroom, but there is something you may have noticed. Some individuals come into the courtroom well-dressed, articulate, respectful and with the knowledge and documents necessary to support a case, while others come unprepared, slovenly dressed and appear as if they do not have a care in the world. How you present yourself and the knowledge that you have of the law will have an impact on how you are treated, even if you have legal representation. This blog is designed to assist those who are going to trial in doing just that.