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Do you need a lawyer for your divorce?

In many divorce cases, tensions are running high and spouses can have serious disagreements about matters of property division, alimony or child support and custody. However, that is not always the case. Perhaps you are lucky in that you and your soon-to-be ex spouse are on the same page about what will happen to your assets and finances.

In this situation, you and your spouse may have amicably decided that your marriage just won't work out and that it's time to part ways. It may be tempting to get your split over with quickly by using some standardized forms and foregoing the process of consulting with an attorney. However, you should proceed with caution if you're considering handling your divorce alone.

At the very least, it may be wise to have a private attorney look over your proposed divorce agreement. Many will consult without requiring that you engage them to represent you fully through the entire process. Having someone who is trained in the family laws in your state look things over can be invaluable. They can potentially catch errors in the agreement or identify provisions that might have hard-to-anticipate consequences. This could help you avoid additional expense and litigation down the road.

Some attorneys also serve as mediators who can help you resolve your divorce without litigation while still protecting your personal interests. Most people only get one shot at crafting an equitable divorce settlement and it helps to have someone on your side.

Consider speaking to an experienced family law attorney as you're going through the divorce process. The right lawyer can get to know you and your family's unique situation, working closely with you to protect your children, your personal interests and your financial future.

Source: The Colorado Springs Gazette, "Do-it-yourself divorce could be cause for regret," Linda Leitz, March 10, 2013

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