Can I go it alone or do I need a divorce attorney?

Some couples may opt to do their own divorce without involving a New York divorce attorney.  If you are one of those couples who are able to resolve all your issues and come to a workable agreement, then perhaps an attorney may be unnecessary in your case.  However, if your attempts to resolve the issues with your spouse are at an impasse or unsuccessful, working with an experienced divorce attorney can help protect your rights and ensure the process goes more smoothly.

When to hire an attorney

There is no law that says you must have an attorney to get a divorce in New York.  However, the following situations are good reasons to hire an experienced Long Island divorce attorney:

  • Minor children.  If you have minor children and you and your ex spouse are disputing custody, support, and visitation issues, an attorney can help to sort out these matters, using various legal remedies that don’t require litigation.  Aside from the expense of litigating child issues in court, the emotional stress can be devastating to your children.  However, if litigation is necessary in sorting out these issues, an experienced divorce attorney can be a powerful resource.
  • Large marital assets and debts.  Divorcing couples who have significant marital property, assets, and debts often find it difficult to resolve financial matters without the assistance of a skilled attorney.
  • Abuse Issues.  When real abuse exists, such as domestic, child, sexual, psychological or substance abuse, hiring a skillful attorney is vital.  An experienced New York divorce attorney can ensure you get the help you and your children need to protect yourselves through restraining and move out orders.  And your attorney can also refer you to professionals for counseling, shelter, or other needs.
  • Dishonesty and lack of disclosure.  If your ex spouse is hiding assets, lying about finances, or being dishonest about other relevant issues, your attorney can take actions to protect your interests.
  • Fear of harm.  If you are afraid of your ex spouse and fear he or she may hurt you or your children, empty your bank accounts, or steal your property, you need to take action right away.  If necessary, leave and go to another location that is safe.  An experienced divorce attorney can help you get a restraining order and/or temporary custody order for your children to ensure your safety.

Discuss your options with a New York divorce attorney

Handling your own divorce is possible but often overwhelming.  Whether your divorce is simple or rife with complex issues, an experienced and compassionate New York divorce attorney can help your sort out the issues and help get you through the process more smoothly.

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