4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Represent Yourself in a Divorce

By Michael DiFalco
Partner

Even the most amicable divorces are complicated and emotional experiences. Two people who thought they would spend their lives together need to figure out how to disburse their assets and break up their marriage.

It is further complicated by the fact that both marriage and divorce are regulated by the state. So when you divorce, you need to get a judge to approve the conditions of your divorce. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go to trial, but you do have to engage with the legal system and make sure you follow the required rules.

If you are getting divorced, it will be much better if an attorney represents you. Here are four reasons why.

1. Divorce is an Emotional Situation

Almost every divorce involves deep emotions. You presumably loved your spouse for years or even decades. And you may still love them.

You might also hate them for any number of reasons. And this emotion is equally as strong as love.

Regardless of whether you feel love, hate, sadness, or all of that and more, your emotions are probably very intense. You are more likely to make poor decisions when dealing with intense emotions. It is better to let someone who isn’t emotionally invested in your divorce handle the proceedings.

2. Legal Proceedings Are Complicated

Frustratingly, it is difficult to complete a divorce easily or quickly due to the red tape inherent in the legal process. Even the easiest divorces will require a stack of paperwork and probably at least one court appearance.

And a messy divorce will require you to respond to dozens or even hundreds of court filings. Accidentally missing one or providing the wrong information can significantly harm the outcome.

Lawyers are familiar with the complicated red tape involved and are much less likely to make a mistake than the average person.

3. Attorneys Have Experience Negotiating

While a judge can decide on a divorce after a trial, preferably, your divorce won’t go that route. The best way to avoid the cost, in both time and money, of a trial is to negotiate a fair settlement with your spouse.

Family law attorneys have a lot of experience negotiating fair settlements. They know what the law allows and how similar divorces have turned out. You are much more likely to end with a fair settlement if your attorney can point to a dozen or more previous divorces with similar circumstances and suggest terms that match those cases.

They are also much better prepared to draft a comprehensive, clear agreement that covers all of the required language as well as avoids pitfalls. 

4. Lawyers Prevent You from Getting Cheated

Unfortunately, a significant number of people try to hide assets during a divorce, or do not share all of their income, particularly if they are likely to be the party to pay child support or spousal support. And most people don’t have the resources to discover hidden assets or even know how to conduct basic financial discovery.

However, an attorney has the experience and tools to prevent your spouse from hiding resources or misleading you about assets. Attorneys use experienced investigators and know where to look for hidden money. This prevents you from getting cheated by a spouse who wants to keep as much money as they can.

Contact a Family Law Attorney Immediately if You Need a Divorce

Even if you and your partner were best friends for decades, divorce is seldom a friendly experience. Ending a marriage can become messy very quickly — especially when it comes to negotiating money and assets. The best way to avoid the worst parts of the mess is to hire an attorney you can trust.

If you are about to get divorced in Garden City, NY, contact the family law lawyers at Aiello & DiFalco as soon as possible to protect yourself and your future.

About the Author
I am a partner at Aiello & DiFalco LLP, and my priority for my clients is to guide them through an arduous court case to provide them with the opportunity to write the next chapter in their life. I tailor my approach to each client’s priorities and positions, and to the extent that matters can be predicted, I will always provide a realistic perspective of how the law could be applied to the particular facts and circumstances of a case. Since I thrive on helping people and solving problems, I bring an optimistic and positive approach to practicing in a very difficult area of law. With more than a decade of experience handling hundreds of cases, I have the ability to get results on the issues my clients view as priorities. When cases or certain issues cannot be settled, I have a solid record of success at trials, hearings, and on appeals. Feel free to contact me for a free initial consultation, I am always available to help.