Divorce or Family Court: Do I Need An Attorney If The Other Side Does Not Have An Attorney

With online do it yourself videos, forms and artificial intelligence should I spend the money and hire an experienced family law attorney? The simple answer is "YES". Now before you think well I am an attorney and of course I will recommend having counsel lets briefly think about this.

1. I watch tons of Youtube videos, I know how to Google, I know how to use Ai but yet my simple home repairs do not always look like the work of a pro. If the project is more complicated I don't even start it. We can all buy a cake mix and frosting and follow the directions but the cake is never as tasty as one from a good bakery nor is it decorated the same. Family Law issues are usually major issues involving custody, child support, parenting schedules, spousal support, division of marital assets and debts including houses, pensions, cars and credit card and other debts.

2. It is important to understand our own limitations regardless of intelligence and resources. There are just too many things in law that non-lawyers are not aware of. There are usually multiple issues rather than just one problem. There are particular forms and procedures that must be followed, there are specific laws that must be applied, there are specific ways to conduct yourself before a judge and there are numerous interactions between different areas of law that may not be exclusive to family law.

3. Legal writing is required but persuasive legal writing is an art. In most cases, the facts are the most important part of the case because most cases do not need or seek a new or re-interpretation of existing law. Therefore, the judge will know the law but will not know the facts of your case unless they are properly and thoroughly presented. Motions require statements regarding the events and documents to support the claims.

4. Trials require proper, relevant and admissible testimony and documents. Lawyers spend years learning what this means and how to properly provide the information that the court needs for a favorable decision.

5. Experienced trial lawyers know how to ask their own client questions in a manner to bring out the facts relevant and favorable. Likewise, an experienced trial lawyer knows when and how to cross-examine opposing witnesses. What questions to ask and what questions not to ask.

6. Expert witness testimony is sometimes needed and a local family law attorney will likely know who are the local experts that the court already knows and trusts.

7. Judges will work with counsel for a party more efficiently and have off the record conversations about the merits of the case and the gaps, if any.

8. A local experienced attorney that has appeared before your judge before will have better insight into the arguments that the judge is most sensitive to hearing.

9. Finally, having an experienced attorney to provide live counsel who knows all of the details of your situation, has been working with you and the other side, working with the judge is in a much better position to provide you with quality advice tailored to your specific situation. Friends and family, while well-meaning, rarely have the level of knowledge and experience that is so important.

10. Protect yourself and your family and have an experienced local family lawyer at your side for less stress and likely better results. Even a bad case can be managed so that there are opportunities for improvement and future modification.