Ten Benefits of Using an Attorney in Getting a Divorce in Massachusetts

You have been with your spouse for years and have been unhappy in the marriage for some time now. You think you want to get divorced as least expensively as possible. Your thought process is I don’t want to spend money on attorneys. Should you forgo hiring an attorney?

The 10 benefits of hiring an attorney could be:

1. When speaking to an attorney, it helps you to determine your legal rights and your best options. You won’t seek surgery  without getting your best course of treatment from a competent doctor, so should you go through a divorce without an attorney?

2. Not all attorneys seek an initial large retainer of $20,000 or more and charge a high hourly rate of $450.00 or higher and want to go to court to litigate a case to trial, so it is best to ask an attorney about their hourly rate and the retainer needed.

3.Some lawyers take cases as a consultant called Limited Representation of Counsel, if the case is litigated. That lawyer could give advice as needed and could file a Notice of Appearance in the morning and a Notice to Withdraw at the end of the day, which could help with providing representation for that day upon written request.

4. Other attorneys’ work with a client who is a participant in mediation to help give legal advice during mediation so one is better prepared for mediation.

5. Some attorneys participate in Collaborative Law Process, which is a team approach involving each person having an attorney and agreeing not to litigate with those attorneys, using a collaborative coach and sometimes a financial professional.  Agreeing not to litigate with the attorneys in the collaborative law process gives an incentive to keep negotiating and not litigate the case. The collaborative coach helps run the meetings and with emotional issues during this collaborative law process.

6. Getting legal advice from an attorney who is trained in alternative dispute resolution, may help maintain relationships which is often important if there are children involved in divorce. Many types of alternative dispute resolution are done in private and not in open court.

7. Some attorneys work with their clients to use interest based negotiation, not positional based negotiation, which is usually better for the client.

8.  The attorney is rational and can look at facts of one’s case to help  come up with a good result.  Often people going through divorce are emotional after many years of marriage and think they want certain things, but it may not be best in the long term.

9. The judge will ask you if you have gotten legal advice when you come into court and the judge needs to approve the Separation Agreement in Massachusetts.

10. You will have more peace of mind in the long run that you have your legal rights explained to you by a competent attorney.

*This article is not meant to provide legal advice by Attorney Debra L. Smith. It is meant for informational purposes only. Attorney Smith states that one should seek legal advice on their specific case.


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