Do You Have to Get a Lawyer to Get a Divorce If You Have Property?

by Teo Spengler

Lawyers are like taxis: sometimes they are the fastest, most efficient way to get to your destination, but you can always choose to take the bus. Divorces that involve property division can be so complex that hiring a lawyer seems wise; but no law prevents you from representing yourself.

Dividing Marital Property

Dividing marital property is a thorny issue in a divorce, emotionally trying and sometimes procedurally difficult. Some states apply community property laws, attributing most of the property acquired during a marriage to the community, no matter which spouse earned the money; others do not, applying equitable principles. Further, a valid prenuptial agreement may control property division. If you feel overwhelmed, it may be time to consider legal help.

Legal Muscle

An experienced family law lawyer brings legal muscle to your divorce case. The property division issues that seem complex and confusing to you are matters she has handled many times and she knows the law and the appropriate procedure. A local lawyer may have appeared before the judge assigned to your case and know his courtroom habits.

Other Options

But attorneys are expensive, sometimes very expensive. If you don't want to spend the money, you have the right to navigate the legal waters yourself. Often you can get direction and some assistance from family law facilitators at the court or reputable online legal service providers.