Everyone likes a good DIY project. But, divorce shouldn’t be one of them. Here are just some of the reasons why a professional is absolutely necessary when you decide it’s time to say “I don’t.”
Why You Need Professional Help When Getting Divorced
You Need To Know The Rules
In most states, getting divorced isn’t easy. Some states require a “cooling off period” or what essentially amounts to a separation, rather than an absolute divorce. In some states, this arrangement is called a “limited divorce.”
Limited divorces differ somewhat from non-court mediated separations. A legal separation allows the court to divide up some of the marital property, decide on exclusive or shared use of the home, child custody, and other legal matters.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could do harm to yourself or your children.
In some states, you can get a summary divorce. This type of divorce is usually simple, but you still need to know if you qualify for it. And, usually, an attorney is the only person who’s going to be able to figure that out for you.
An uncontested divorce is the best of all worlds. It’s a “clean break” where neither party fights with the other over the divorce proceedings. You and your spouse agree to work together to come to an agreement about the terms of your divorce. It sounds simple, but without a lawyer, you’re asking for trouble.
Things get complicated quickly when it comes to getting divorced and deciding things like who gets the house, child custody issues, visitation, and retirement assets.
A default divorce is where the court grants you a divorce because your spouse is either missing and can’t be found or chooses not to be found.
States also now offer a no-fault divorce option, where both you and your spouse agree to disagree, in essence. It’s called “irreconcilable differences” or, in some cases, you must show you have an “irremediable breakdown” in your relationship.
Divorces Aren’t Always Easy
Some websites, like LawFirmOfAnnapolis.com, explain just how complex getting divorced can be. Even if you’re going through an uncontested divorce, there’s still the issue of assets, how to divvy them up, and who gets the kids on Christmas.
Estate issues can also become complicated if you have any significant assets, like a large house, substantial retirement savings, or a successful business with strong cash flow.
How Do You Break Down The Estates
Breaking down the estate usually requires the help of a divorce attorney and an estate attorney. If you have substantial assets, you will need to amend your will, trust documents, and life insurance policies. These are the three cornerstone pieces of most estate plans. And, while some aspects of a beneficiary change are simple, some are not.
What Happens To Your Retirement?
Almost no one knows about the Qualified Domestic Relations Order until after the divorce has begun. This is an order, issued by a court, which says that you must share your retirement savings with your spouse. Sounds unfair, right?
Well, many think it is. And, unless you know how to fight it, or what your legal recourse is to keep your savings intact, you should hire a professional attorney who knows how to get you through a divorce without losing your shirt.
GUEST BLOGGER: Ms. Rodriguez-Nanney received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1997. While in Law School, Ms. Rodriguez-Nanney was a member of the Maryland Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues, a member of the Latino Law Student’s Association and volunteered with the Public Justice Center, Inc. Ms. Rodriguez-Nanney is an experienced immigration attorney. She also handles domestic matters such as adoptions, custody disputes and divorce proceedings and understands the intricacies of domestic law.