Contrary to the way it may seem, not all divorces involve time-consuming and expensive litigation that ends in a courtroom brawl. Some couples manage to get through the divorce process quickly and quietly in an amicable manner without any disputes. If you believe that describes your divorce, you may wonder if you need to hire a lawyer. Dallas uncontested divorce lawyer Rita M. Boyd explains when you may, and when you may not, need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce.
Is Your Divorce Uncontested?
The first question you need to consider is whether your divorce is truly an uncontested divorce. Just because you and your spouse have agreed to remain civil does not mean the divorce is uncontested. A true uncontested divorce means that you and your spouse agree to all issues involved in the divorce. Among those issues are the grounds for the divorce, the division of marital debts and assets, conservatorship and possession and access of the minor children, child and/or spousal support, and even who will pay the costs related to the divorce. If you are not in agreement regarding all issues, you do not have an uncontested divorce.
Can I Get Divorced without Hiring a Lawyer?
There is no legal requirement that you hire an attorney to represent you in a divorce. It is certainly possible to get through the divorce process in Texas without a lawyer if you and your spouse agree to everything. If your spouse is willing to sign all the required documents, you can submit them to the court in the form of a settlement agreement. One of you will still likely need to appear in court to answer some basic questions before the divorce can be finalized.
Why You Might Need a Lawyer for an Uncontested Divorce
Although you are not legally required to hire a lawyer for an uncontested divorce in Texas, there are several reasons why you might still want to do so, including:
- Making sure your rights are protected. It is crucial that you understand all your rights in a divorce because failing to understand those rights could mean you end up with an unfair division of property, too much debt, paying too much in child support, or not getting enough child support.
- Your uncontested divorce could turn contentious. Unfortunately, divorces often start out amicable but turn adversarial in short order. If you are operating on the assumption that your divorce will not involve any disputed issues you could find yourself in a difficult position – and without proper legal advice — should your spouse suddenly refuse to agree to something.
- Language in a divorce can make a huge difference. Most parties in a divorce are not lawyers and have no reason to be familiar with legal terminology. Representing yourself in a divorce, without that knowledge, can be problematic because the presence or absence of a single word can make a big difference in a legal document. For example, whether you use “and” or “or” on a title to property determines the type of legal ownership you have in the property.
- Divorce is an emotional process. Even if you and your spouse both agree that divorce is the right choice, divorce is highly emotional in nature. It is difficult to think rationally when you are dealing with strong emotions. That may mean you rush through the process and fail to protect your rights and your long-term needs – or those of your children. Without a lawyer looking out for your interests, you may end up back in court trying to modify the decree you rushed through the first time around.
Contact a Dallas Uncontested Divorce Lawyer
If you have additional questions or concerns about a Texas divorce, contact an experienced Dallas uncontested divorce lawyer Rita M. Boyd to discuss your legal rights and options by calling 972-380-8000 to schedule your appointment today.