In Part Two of the article, we’ll be diving into cases rife with conflict and that have complex finances. We’ll also talk about paralegals and document preparers, and why it’s so important to understand the law if you are representing yourself. Should you use a lawyer or not? Let’s find out.
What If You Have Complex Finances?
Perhaps you aren’t necessarily disagreeing on everything with your ex, but you have some complicated financial issues that need to be worked out. Perhaps you are trying to learn more about the stock options that you and your ex have, retirement accounts, properties, etc.
In those cases, you might want to talk with a financial advisor to get some added insight. It’s a good idea to speak with those who have advised and helped in other divorce cases, though. Even then, not all financial advisors will be familiar with certain aspects of family law when it comes to financial distributions.
If you have these types of issues and you talk with a financial advisor, you will at least want to have an attorney look everything over to ensure division of assets and debt is in your best interest and that it’s all accounted for should you use a lawyer.
Attorneys and High-Conflict Cases
Another question that often comes up is whether an attorney will always be needed for high-conflict cases. These are cases that can often take years to resolve because there is so much to untangle. When a case drags on for this length of time, the cost of having an attorney will naturally start to add up. Many worry that they can’t afford to have an attorney that represents them in these long cases.
When there’s a lot of conflict in the case, it’s typically because one or both of the parties will not be agreeable. They are not trying to find a resolution. They often want to harm the other side. In those cases, it will be difficult to go it alone and come out unscathed.
When there’s a lot of conflict, it’s always a good idea to work with an attorney as much as you can. Of course, you want to have the right attorney on your side. Rather than looking for an aggressive attorney that wants to destroy the other party, it’s better to work with someone that can de-escalate the conflict as much as possible.
Find those who have dealt with those types of high-conflict divorces in the past, as their experience can help to make the process easier and could end up helping you to save more money.
When Should a Paralegal or Certified Legal Document Preparer Be Used for Divorce or Modification?
Often, it’s possible to start with a paralegal or a certified legal document preparer when you are going through a divorce or hoping to get a modification. You could supplement this with occasional consultations with an attorney, as well. You can let the attorney know that if things were to become more complicated, you may want to hire them. Your paralegal might also be able to also refer you to someone at their firm should you use a lawyer on your case instead.
Whenever there is an uncontested matter, choosing to work with a paralegal or document preparer can be a good and affordable option. They can often help people to get through these simple cases without the need to hire an attorney. You may still want to have an attorney look over the documentation before filing it, though. It could be a good idea to double-check things.
Full Scope vs. Limited Scope Attorneys
As you have seen, you might not need to have an attorney that is working for you all the time on your case. You might only need them for certain things, such as looking over documents or helping you prepare for a trial. This would be a limited scope attorney. Choose to use their services only for certain things that you can’t or don’t want to do yourself.
Other times, you will need an attorney from start to finish that’s beside you each step of the way. This is an example of full scope, and it tends to be beneficial for those complex cases with financial matters, children, property division, etc. where people can’t agree.
Those who would like to save some money will find that a limited scope attorney for their divorce can be a great solution. They can get the help they need when they need it, but they don’t have to pay the attorney to do everything for them. Whether they are taking care of things on their own or working with a paralegal, this route will be more affordable. Of course, it will take more work on your part.
If You Represent Yourself, Know How to Do It Right
There are times when you can represent yourself without the need for an attorney. However, it’s still generally a good idea to at least take the time to consult with an attorney in the beginning. This can help to give you a better idea of what to expect.
When you are representing yourself, you must take the time to read and understand all of the statutes that apply to your case. You need to know what they say, what they mean, and how they are likely to be interpreted by the judge and your ex. Learn the types of things that the judge wants to see. They want facts and evidence, not hearsay and feelings. If you can’t handle these things on your own, it might be time to consider when should you use a layer for your cases.
When You Need an Attorney, Choose the Best
So, when do you need to have an attorney? The unfortunate answer is that it depends. Everyone’s different and will have their own needs when going through their divorce. Most of the time, you can find attorneys that have reasonably priced consultations, which are generally worth the time and money. Figure out what’s at stake and what you’re up against, get a consultation, and then determine whether it’s better to work on your own or with a document preparer, or whether you need to have an attorney working with you.
When it comes time to choose an attorney, remember that it’s always important to choose those who have experience dealing with cases like yours. If you have a high-conflict divorce, you don’t want to work with an attorney that has never handled that type of case before. Take the time to find and choose the best. After all, there is a lot at stake.
Resource: Provided by the client