In many divorce cases, the former couple disagrees on several elements of the divorce, leading to what can end up being a long and nasty process. These divorces are referred to as contested divorces.
But if you and your spouse agree on all of the key components of a divorce — alimony, custody, splitting assets, etc. — you may have an uncontested divorce.
However, even if you and your spouse agree on the major things, there’s still a few reasons why you may want to consult a divorce lawyer anyway.
- Your spouse is not being honest with you/has a history of lying to you
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for one spouse to hide major things from the other. These omissions can include:
- Money / income
- Extra assets
Dishonest spouses won’t necessarily be honest during a divorce proceeding, either.
If you discover that your spouse lied to you about a key component, you’ll have to live with it or bring the divorce back to court to prove your spouse lied to you.
A divorce attorney knows how to get the truth from your spouse to help the court determine what you are actually entitled to or what may have actually happened in your marriage.
- You want to be sure that you are handling your divorce correctly
Divorce is a very common legal proceeding, and uncontested divorce can be a relatively easy process.
However, it is still a legal proceeding. Even if you and your spouse agree on everything, you may want a second set of eyes to determine if you have considered everything, or to have someone deal with the paperwork and filing to make sure it’s done correctly and you haven’t overlooked anything or made any mistakes.
- Your uncontested divorce may be largely unfair to one of you
A judge may not grant a consent judgment (agreement) that skews too in favor of one spouse to the detriment of the other.
In some instances, someone might agree to give their spouse everything (the house, full custody of the kids, etc.) because one spouse was dominant over the other spouse throughout the entire marriage.
It helps to have an attorney who is 100% on your side who cares about your story and will stand up for you. A divorce lawyer looks at your marriage dynamic from the outside and helps determine if your agreement is actually fair to you.
- Your divorce agreement isn’t in the best interest of your children
Even if you agree to a certain child custody and child support arrangement, the court won’t grant it if it’s not in the best interest of your children.
For example, giving full custody of the children to the parent who has abused them in the past, or agreeing that your spouse get out of paying any child support in exchange for not dragging out the divorce is not in your children’s best interests.
A divorce lawyer can help you negotiate a custody and visitation plan that is truly in your children’s best interest.
- You just have a gut feeling that something is wrong and you want to be sure you’re doing the right thing
Divorces don’t happen when people are happy with each other, and many marriages end because of wrongdoing by one or both spouses.
Sometimes, you can’t put your finger on it, but you just know that something is wrong. Perhaps your spouse is too eager to get you to go through the divorce or is insisting that you don’t get to see statements from their personal bank account or their phone bills.
Whatever the reason, you have a right to seek legal counsel and representation to help you determine if that gut feeling is correct.
- That “uncontested divorce” really isn’t an “uncontested divorce.”
Because you and your spouse are not lawyers, you may not refer to things correctly which may lead to misunderstandings. For example, words like “joint”, “sole”, and “shared” custody have specific meanings that can get confusing. You may mean one thing when you are talking about custody or spousal support and your spouse may mean something totally different, even if you are using the same words.
Good family law attorneys are NOT there to create problems between parties but are there to help them navigate through the process. Hiring an experienced attorney to review an agreement to determine if it is in your best interest should only protect you. If you and your spouse are truly on the same page and understand your rights and responsibilities, an experienced family law attorney will only help move the process along and ensure that your filings are correct.
Stanley-Wallace Law is here to help
Whatever the reason for your divorce, our team of attorneys at Stanley-Wallace Law are on your side. We are committed to putting you and your family first. Call today to schedule your first consultation so that we can get started on your case.