You may be tempted not to retain a lawyer for your uncontested divorce because you agree with your partner on all the major issues. However, you should know that a divorce lawyer is useful in any kind of divorce. Here are some of the ways a divorce lawyer can help with an uncontested divorce.
Review Your Paperwork
A divorce, even an uncontested one, involves a reasonable amount of paperwork. The paperwork may include financial information, divorce agreements, and court documents, among other things. A lawyer will review such paperwork to ensure that you have the right papers, that you have filed the papers correctly, and that you file the papers before the required deadlines.
Without a lawyer, you can easily make a mistake like using an old form instead of an updated version. You don't want to conclude your divorce and file your agreement with the court only to realize you used the wrong forms.
Review Your Settlement Agreement
The divorce settlement agreement is the main document your divorce process will generate. The settlement agreement details your agreement on vital issues such as:
- Child custody
- Spousal support
- Visitation rights
- Asset division
As you can see, all the above are important things that you should get right from the beginning. You don't want to sign a divorce settlement agreement that awards you 40% of your marital assets if you can get 50%. A divorce lawyer will review your agreement and advise you on whether it is legally binding or fair to you.
Inform You of Your Legal Rights
You have legal rights that no one can take from you — not even your spouse. Unfortunately, you may not be aware of these rights if you don't use a lawyer for your divorce. For example, you are entitled to a certain share of your marital property, however little the share may be. The custodial parent is also entitled to child support, and you can't even waive off the right.
Without a lawyer, you can easily go through a divorce without awareness of these rights. Your divorce lawyer will inform you and advise you on these rights.
Match Your Spouse
Don't even think about a divorce without a lawyer if your partner has retained one. You are at a legal disadvantage if your spouse hires a lawyer while you approach the divorce without legal representation. The lawyer will advise your spouse on their rights and arm them with negotiation tactics to use, and you’ll be left to rely on your unskilled and inexperienced tactics.
Uncover Hidden Information
An uncontested divorce works on the premise that each partner is honest and forthcoming with their information. You need to know your partner's income, the assets your partner owns, and even any children your spouse may have outside your relationship.
Unfortunately, spouses are not always as forthcoming with the relevant information as they should be. Your partner could lie to you and keep such vital information hidden. A divorce lawyer, however, understands how to dig out such information and knows the telltale signs of hidden information. Hire a lawyer to increase your chances of access to all vital information.
Reduce Risk of Appeals and Modifications
Lastly, a divorce lawyer also reduces the risk of a divorce appeal or modification. If you use a lawyer with your divorce, chances are high that you will get everything right the first time and that neither party will lodge an appeal. Without a lawyer, one of you is more likely to uncover hidden information and lodge an appeal after you finalize the divorce.
As you can see, you gain a lot and risk nothing when you hire a divorce lawyer for your uncontested divorce. At Scott, Quinlan, Willard, Barnes & Keeshan LLC, we understand complex divorce laws and can help you get your divorce right the first time. Consult us whether you plan a contested or uncontested divorce, and we will help you defend your rights.