I have talked to hundreds of people over the course of my years as an attorney who have inquired as to whether they really need a divorce attorney. Often times, the statement is made that my spouse and I have agreed on everything or almost everything so why do we need an attorney?
I have represented about the same number of people who ask the question who have gone ahead with a divorce without an attorney only to come retain my services to undo the mistakes that were made in the divorce. For that reason, when I am asked whether you need a divorce attorney I recall the old commercial that says “pay me now or pay me later”. There is a lot of truth to that statement.
In some situations, people actually do agree on how to divide assets, what to do with the children and how much to pay in child support and maintenance. Unfortunately, there are a number of factors that must be considered in the divorce that if not can cost one or both of the parties substantial money after the divorce is completed. For example, if one person is paying child support, which is not taxable income, who gets to claim the child or children as income tax dependent/exemptions for income tax purposes? Many times, that is not covered by parties who are unrepresented and sometimes they both claim the children. Unfortunately, this sometimes triggers a tax audit.
Another problem that arises is when one person takes over the house payments and keeps the house. Often times, both names are on the mortgage. The person who thought they got out from under the mortgage tries to buy another house and finds out that because their name is still on the mortgage they do not have enough income to qualify for another mortgage. Of course, they show the bank the divorce papers and the bank explains to them that just because you divorced your spouse it does not mean that the spouses are divorced from the creditors. The spouse with the house may not be able to afford to refinance and remove your name and there you sit unable to qualify for a mortgage.
These are just two examples. There are many, many more examples of what can go wrong when you do not have adequate legal protection in your divorce. If both parties agree then your legal fees should be very reasonable but you can be assured your divorce will be done right. Also, if you have an experienced divorce attorney you will be prepared in those situations when your spouse changes his or her mind which happens on many occasions.
In short, if you are contemplating doing it alone in divorce court reconsider your decision. At least talk to an experienced family law attorney at Krueger Hernandez & Thompson SC for a no cost, no obligation consultation. There is a substantial amount at stake in a divorce that warrants a discussion with a legal professional to make sure your rights are protected.
In the Madison area call (608) 824-8540, the Baraboo area call (608) 356-3961 or statewide call (866) 455-2993. Please feel free to check out our website at https://khtlawyers.com for more information.