Obviously, every attorney will recommend that you hire someone early on, preferably at the beginning of a case, especially because it’s easier for an attorney to make sure things run smoothly from the outset instead of trying to fix it later. However, the reality is that attorneys cost money and this isn’t always possible. Unfortunately, at some point it may end up costing you more, either in terms of time with your children or even financially, to not hire an attorney. If you find yourself wanting or needing to avoid hiring an attorney we’ve put together a couple examples of when you need to seriously rethink that strategy.
Example #1: The other party has an attorney:
Some attorneys are aggressive with unrepresented individuals and others are cordial and easy to work with, but regardless of how they treat you it is important to remember that they are only representing the other party. They are not on your side, cannot give you legal advice, and will take full advantage of your lack of knowledge of the law. If at all possible you should seek legal counsel as soon as you learn the other party is represented.
Example #2: The other parent is not exercising a significant amount of their parenting time.
Child support is determined in part on how many overnights each party is supposed to have with their child. Getting parenting time changed and child support modified to reflect what is actually happening may result in a significant benefit to you depending on the circumstances of the case. An attorney can be critical in determining how much money is on the line and in helping you to modify the orders if it makes sense to do so.
Example #3: You feel like you are losing control of your case or feel too overwhelmed to keep up with it.
Some cases are so simple that it is possible to effectively handle them on your own, but most cases have at least a few complicating factors. There are also numerous deadlines to meet and court rules to follow. Some people are able to make it through the process, but others are not so lucky and see their case becoming a mess that seems almost impossible to clean up. Custody cases or divorces where children are involved are especially important because they involve the most important aspect of a parent’s life, their children. If you feel like you’re losing control it’s time to seek the help of an attorney.