Should Your Divorce Be Handled by a Family Lawyer?

Divorcing is rarely easy on any couple; even a so-called friendly divorce can often dissolve into bitter fights about minor issues, and this can make the entire process more stressful than necessary. While it's good for couples to always think of hiring a family law attorney when divorcing to avoid this added stress, there are times when it's especially recommended, in order to protect your rights and ensure your divorce is fair for both of you.

You're not sure of your spouse's financial state

Not every person earns a set paycheck every week; those who are self-employed or who do contract work, who work with clients and customers on the internet, and others may have a fluctuating pay and may also find it easier to hide money from a spouse. In those cases, it's good to hire a family law attorney. He or she can ensure that your spouse is not hiding funds and prepare whatever legal paperwork is needed to impel your spouse to produce their individual tax returns and other such statements. This will ensure there is a fair property division and that neither spouse is hiding assets or being deceitful about their actual income.

You've been locked out, or have left, the family home

Walking away from the family home shouldn't mean that you are not entitled to your share of the property you and your spouse have in common. Unfortunately many people still believe that "possession is nine-tenths of the law," but this isn't always the case, especially for personal items such as a vehicle in your name. An attorney can petition the court to force your spouse to produce such items or allow you to have access to the home so that there is a fair division of property, even if you willingly left the home at one time.

You want to retain specific pieces of property

As said, you may have some legal protections for items like vehicles or family heirlooms, but even in these cases, the law may allow for both spouses to have equal access to these items. If there are certain items you want to retain specifically, whether that's jewelry, furniture, artwork, a vacation home, or even a family pet, an attorney can best advise you on how to approach your spouse with that issue. They can note if you have any particular legal rights to those items, but if not, they may be able to petition the court to keep them in your name, work with your spouse's attorney to reach an agreement, and so on, increasing your chances of retaining that property in particular.