The decision to divorce is never easy. It’s something that people in California and elsewhere usually consider carefully before taking the leap from consideration to filing for divorce.
However, it’s important for you to get proper counsel before and during the process so that you can protect your interests and those of your children. Because California is a community property state, having an experienced legal professional is imperative.
What you might have to consider during your divorce action
Unless you’re involved in a rather short-term relationship with no property or children and few assets to consider, your divorce is going to be more complicated than you think. It is perhaps the complications that arise when a shared life is ending that keep people in bad marriages long after they should have left.
Even if the details of the divorce are settled in-office through mediation, the paperwork must be filed in court and a decree granted by a family court judge. Matters such as child support, custody, and visitation must be formalized for the protection of all parties involved. Property division is another matter that must be determined and administered according to California law.
Finding the right person to represent your interests
You wouldn’t see an orthopedic surgeon to treat your heart condition, so it makes no sense to engage a business or criminal attorney to handle your divorce. Family law attorneys are experts in matters that affect your family and property.
For example, they can better explain the tax advantages of establishing a trust rather than drawing a will. They also have the experience and resources to adequately present your case when child custody is involved.
Legal terminology can be confusing, and one word can change the meaning of a legal document. An experienced lawyer has the knowledge and training to understand the difference between “must” and “should”. They’re also better at cutting through red tape and negotiating settlements than a private citizen.
Final thoughts about engaging a professional
The saying that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client became an adage for a reason. Even lawyers will hire another from their profession when they’re faced with a legal matter and need objectivity.