A process casually known as do-it-yourself divorce can be suitable for spouses who have little money or other assets, as well as no children. In nearly all other cases, each spouse should be represented by a divorce lawyer to protect his or her interests. This is important even when the split is amicable and the two agree on all relevant issues.
Advantages of Amicable Divorces
Spouses who want to end the marriage but are still on friendly terms have distinct advantages compared with couples divorcing under acrimonious circumstances. The situation is easier on the children and is less stressful for the adults. On an entirely practical level, the legalities are inexpensive as compared with litigation. With no disagreements on the relevant issues, the process is affordable and speedy.
In contrast, when mediation sessions are needed or the spouses bring their disagreements to court the lawyers must spend a great deal more time and effort to build their cases. This is known as a contested divorce.
Dividing assets and outstanding debt, and making agreements about child custody and visitation, strongly affect each person’s future. Details of asset and debt division and aspects involving the children should be documented with the court by the lawyers.
The attorneys review the asset division proposal to make sure there is nothing questionable about it. Family court judges will not approve agreements that are inequitable according to the law. Even if one spouse has earned substantially more money than the other over many years, family courts do not view that person as entitled to a significantly larger amount of money and other property.
Custody and Visitation
It’s essential not to make casual arrangements about custody and visitation without official documentation. Although the agreement might be satisfactory now, opinions may change as the year’s pass. This is especially likely if one of the parents remarries or wants to move a long-distance away.
Once custody and visitation agreements are filed with the court, changes must be official as well. The parents can have their lawyers file new documents, or one person can petition the court for a modification if the other dispute the request.
Divorce attorneys manage all the details so two individuals can smoothly and the marriage and move forward. The spouses don’t have to learn how to write legal documents. They feel reassured that all considerations have been addressed by skilled legal professionals. Having lawyers participating is essential for preventing problems with court approval regarding asset division and future disputes about child custody and visitation.