Arizona ranks among the highest in divorce rates according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Thirteenth in the nation, Arizona divorce rates are 15% higher than the national average.
If you are in Arizona and are considering a divorce, you are likely looking at your options including whether or not you need a lawyer. This depends on a few factors, so the pros and cons are listed here to help you determine if you need a lawyer for your divorce.
Is everyone safe?
If you or your children are not safe, using a divorce lawyer may be a good route to take. When there is high emotion and/or aggression, having a third party to support you can help. Restraining orders (orders of protection) may need to be instituted and specific negotiations around Parenting Time agreements can be worked out through the law team rather than by the spouses.
Is everyone in agreement?
If you and your spouse are amicable and can make the bulk of decisions about property division, debts, income and children, you may be able to use a mediator rather than a lawyer. This can cost far less, and be a shorter process, if both parties are able to easily agree. Sometimes when business, large personal assets and/or children are involved, a divorce attorney may be needed to help sort out the finer details of the divorce.
If you have no children and can agree, an uncontested divorce will be your easiest, and less expensive option.
Do you know what rights you are forfeiting?
Often people want out of their painful situations as quickly as possible, and may make rash decisions and lose rights that are difficult or impossible to get back. Spending time to learn your rights and working with a lawyer on the front end of the divorce may save you money in the long run.
Returning to litigation to change something originally agreed upon is difficult and expensive. Protecting your rights is the biggest reason to talk to a divorce lawyer.
Are expectations clear?
Debt and property division may seem cut and dry, but privacy laws in Arizona don’t allow spouses to communicate to financial institutions, motor vehicle departments, etc., on behalf of the other. Is it clear exactly how things will be transferred and separated?
What about the kids?
Parenting plans can be highly emotional, and therefore difficult. An experienced divorce attorney understands the nuances of parenting agreements that can backfire or be un-enforceable.
How do you handle changes during the process?
Debt, pregnancy, new jobs, and new housing can all effect the divorce process in a negative way. Navigating these changes with a lawyer can provide additional protection to make sure you maintain your rights and keep things fair.
If you are in Arizona and are looking for the support of an experienced, compassionate divorce attorney, give us call to protect your rights.