It can be tempting to go through a divorce without a lawyer. After all, a divorce is a time in your life that you need to save as much money as possible. However, going through a divorce without an experienced and successful attorney at your side can cost you much more than money. It can put you at a great disadvantage, especially if your spouse did have the foresight to hire an attorney.
Protect Your Rights
There’s no law that says you have to hire an experienced Tampa divorce attorney, but, if you don’t, be aware that you may be risking the outcome of your case. While family court judges will allow you to represent yourself, you shouldn’t expect any special treatment. You’ll be expected to do your homework and develop a strategy that conforms to your state’s laws. While the judge may be lenient in some matters, he’s not going to help you with your case. Any mistakes you make may end up working in favor of your spouse.
Get Custody of Your Children
Child custody is no simple issue to resolve. To begin, there is physical custody, which involves where the children will live, and legal custody, which determines who has the right to make parenting decisions for the children. If you attempt to represent yourself, you may find yourself reduced to an unfair custody arrangement or you may only be granted weekly visitations. You need a lawyer to help put on a strong case for granting you a fair custody arrangement, which will give you physical and legal custody rights.
Obtain Fair Support Situations
Whether you’re petitioning for child support or trying to avoid overpaying support, a Tampa divorce attorney can make a big difference here as well. Your lawyer will know how to present a case that will show the judge why your position is valid. This can go a long way toward helping to gain a favorable outcome. Each side in a support petition must protect their rights and ensure the final solution is equitable. Without an attorney, you may not know how to establish a strong case and you may either end up receiving less support than you need or, on the opposite side, you could end up paying more than is reasonably fair.
Protect You from Yourself
Regardless of the specific circumstances that led to your divorce, it’s going to be a highly emotional experience. You’re both going to have very strong feelings about one another, but, when you let intense emotions guide your actions, you often end up making disastrous mistakes. This, in itself, is an excellent reason to hire a divorce lawyer. Your attorney will represent you in court in a rational way, using his expertise and his knowledge of your situation to present a strong case. This keeps you from making emotional outbursts that would reflect badly on you and may end up costing you your case.
Help You Get the Outcome You Desire
There may be certain things you want that far outweigh the concern you have for other issues. For instance, you may have a family heirloom that was left to you upon your mother’s passing. Your attorney can compromise with your spouse’s attorney to ensure you can keep that item. Similarly, custody arrangements can be negotiated more fairly with two dispassionate attorneys rather than leaving the matter up to you and your spouse. When you outline what’s important to you, your attorney will work towards those goals more than anything else. Since you won’t get everything you want, getting what matters to you the most may be especially important.
If you and your spouse can’t come to terms via mediation, a divorce hearing may become necessary. While the ultimate decisions in this situation are left up to the family court judge, how you present your case will affect his decision. Hiring a lawyer will help you put on a strong and convincing case that will improve your chances for a favorable outcome.