With online options and court forms for divorce readily available online, the question often comes up of “what is the value of paying a Portland divorce lawyer”. The following are a few of the reasons why it can be a good investment to hire a family lawyer.
The number one reason to hire a family law attorney is to give you realistic advice about tough situations. In my experience with divorces and custody cases, the biggest thing people need to hear from their lawyer is what they don’t get. Everyone comes into these situations having heard from family or friends, or read on the internet about what they should expect to receive from their divorce. Often times, as reliable as these sources of information are, they are completely inaccurate, or don’t apply to your specific situation for various reasons. By hiring, or at least consulting with an experienced attorney, they can give you realistic expectations about your case. It’s better to hear early that you aren’t going to win something you really want, than it is to waste time, energy, and lots of money fighting over unrealistic expectations.
2. To tell you what you don’t know.
The old adage “you don’t know what you don’t know,” really applies to divorces and custody. People truly can’t know what they don’t know and in the case of legal documents and decisions this can come back to cause problems later. It may seem obvious, but it is often overlooked in these situations. If you don’t consult with an experienced lawyer, you may very well overlook some really critically important parts to your divorce or custody case, and won’t ever know what you missed until it is too late.
3. An Oregon divorce attorney will help you negotiate a fair resolution.
A lot of people try to avoid hiring a divorce lawyer, because they are worried the lawyer will make things more difficult. There certainly are some lawyers out there who do more harm than good, but most family law lawyers are very experienced with settling cases. Negotiation is a skill set that often requires years of practice. It also is best accomplished by someone who is not emotionally invested in the case.
People who try to negotiate their own resolution to their divorce case, can get emotionally overwhelmed and lose objectivity very easily. It is always best to hire an attorney to help you resolve disputes in a calm way that can really save you a ton of money. If your goal is to settle the case quickly and painlessly, be up front about that with your lawyer so they can take the right approach to help pacify the situation, and reach a resolution you are comfortable with.
4. A divorce attorney can take decisive action if the need arises.
There are occasions when things turn ugly in divorce and custody cases, and when they do, they can sometimes be put back on course with quick, decisive legal action. By having an attorney on your side, they can often get a judge involved, or otherwise fix a potentially disastrous dilemma really quickly, before it can spiral into an out of control mess. This can happen even when mediation is the prefer action, by having an attorney on board from the start you can receive guidance about how to approach situations such as mediation to better meet your goals.
5. A family law attorney will make sure all the paperwork is correct.
Our Oregon and Washington family law firm takes cases that are considered amicable or uncontested, but sometimes people will decide they can do their own paperwork for these cases. While you probably can do the paperwork yourself, the problem is that “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Problems can and do arise from this. For a single flat fee we often take uncontested cases and do everything required to finish the case while providing peace of mind that the paperwork will be correct. You can read more about uncontested cases and why an attorney is important for this specific case in this article: 5 reasons to hire an attorney rather than do your own divorce or custody paperwork.
You may also find our article “Can I Avoid Court For my Divorce or Custody Case? “ helpful.
Tom Brasier is an experienced family law attorney for Brasier Law a Portland, Oregon divorce firm. Tom has close to 10 years of experience performing divorce and custody cases in Portland and SW Washington. You can contact him at his Portland office by calling 1 (503) 855-4777 or by using the contact form below.