Not every divorce requires a lawyer. You can fill out the applicable forms, and if you can establish that you meet the basic criteria for divorce, you can file for divorce on your own. However, in most cases, there are complex legal and financial issues involved that will require legal guidance.

When do I need a lawyer for divorce?

If your divorce is fairly simple, you may proceed in filing for divorce without a lawyer. The following list is an example of things or events that usually classify a divorce as difficult.

• Adultery
• Abuse: verbal or physical
• Children
• Significant assets

You probably don’t need a lawyer for your divorce if you have been together a short time and haven't accumulated many assets together. Learn how to calculate the value of your assets. If you and your spouse can resolve all disputes related to spousal maintenance, child support, and child custody.

When is it necessary to hire a lawyer?

Most divorces, however, involve challenging issues that require expert legal help to resolve. For instance, if your divorce involves significant financial assets such as a second home or multiple bank accounts and lines of credits then you need the help of a lawyer to protect your future financial stability through preserving your asset collection.

If you and your spouse cannot come to terms on child custody or visitation times, a lawyer can help you protect your rights to the custody of your kids. If there are disputes over alimony or child support, legal assistance can help you arrive at an appropriate solution.

If your marriage has involved spousal abuse or violence, you need a lawyer to help protect you and your children. In such cases, it's imperative that you hire a divorce lawyer. If you believe that your spouse could become hostile, vindictive, or aggressive in your divorce, hire an attorney.

Choosing a lawyer does not have to mean that your case will go to court. An experienced family law lawyer will in fact first work together with the opposing lawyers toward a negotiated settlement before taking the case to court.

For most people, it is the first divorce. Therefore, the potential for mistakes is high. To understand if you need to hire a lawyer, then speak with a Washington divorce attorney at Molly B. Kenny and discuss the specifics of your case. Call 425-460-0550 or schedule a consultation by filling out the online form.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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