With the availablity of information on the internet the option to have a “do it yourself divorce” may be very appealing to some people. There are many websites on the internet that provide “divorce kits” that allow a person to complete their own “uncontested divorce.” However, an attorney can be an invaluable tool during the divorce process and can obviously provide options, knowledge and interaction that a divorce kit can not.
When a husband and wife have children, there are many issues that need to be covered in a divorce decree. These issues range from rights and duties of parents and possession schedules to child support and health insurance. To add to the level of complexity, all states are different when it comes to issues surrounding children. Most “divorce kits” found on the internet are just general forms and are not state specific. An attorney can explain the relevant statutes in that state regarding custody, the rights assigned to parents and how child support is calculated.
Laws in each state are subject to change. A lawyer’s duty is to stay on top of all the changes in the law and advise a client how the law will affect their case and it’s outcome. Not all states calculate a person’s child support obligation the same way. A lawyer will calculate a person’s child support obligation and make sure that their client does not pay above or below guideline support.
Each state has some form of a Standard Possession Schedule. Sometimes a state’s Standard Possession Schedule is not conducive to a person’s work schedule. An attorney can provide alternate possession schedules that will allow a person to spend the same amount of time with their children as a state’s Standard Possession Schedule provides. An attorney can assess what issues may arise after a divorce is finalized. With this in mind, an attorney can structure a final decree that will protect a person when issues arise post divorce. Even though a divorce may begin as “uncontested,” it can quickly become litigious. Should this happen, an attorney can provide insight as to the court’s policies and procedures.
No matter how many or few issues each divorce may have, an attorney’s role and the benefit he or she provides a person and their children should not be underestimated.