When You Have an Attorney and Your Spouse Doesn’t

Deciding to get a divorce is a difficult and personal decision.  Once you have made the choice to move forward with ending your marriage, your first step is likely to research and retain a family law attorney.  However, just because you decide to hire a lawyer does not mean that your spouse will make the same choice.  Many people decide to represent themselves in their divorce.  If your spouse has decided to proceed without hiring an attorney, there are some particular issues you should be aware of.

One of the most common issues when your spouse does not have a lawyer is that the divorce may take longer.  Divorce parties who represent themselves are not likely to be as familiar with the legal processes as attorneys.  Accordingly, where a lawyer will understand what motions to file, what paperwork needs to be completed, and the general way a divorce case is likely to move forward, your spouse will not know which steps to take to move the divorce forward.  It is possible that your spouse may end up slowing down the process by taking the wrong steps or not taking any steps at all.

Another issue to be aware of is that it may be more difficult to reach a settlement.  Attorneys are familiar with not only the law, but also what a judge in your area would likely do based on the facts of your particular case.  Attorneys will use this information to craft and negotiable a reasonable settlement agreement.  A divorcing spouse proceeding without an attorney, however, is more likely to base a settlement agreement purely on what he or she wants or feels is fair. 

During a divorce hearing, your lawyer will speak on your behalf, but if your spouse does not have a lawyer, he or she will speak for himself.  While it may be frustrating to see, as your spouse will have the chance to talk directly to the judge while you will communicate with the judge through your attorney, it will almost always work in your favor.  Your attorney will know what evidence to present and how to present it, while your spouse will probably not.  As a result, your spouse may not be able to get the evidence in front of the judge, which can mean your spouse will lose an argument that he or she would have likely won with the help of an attorney.

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Are you interested in seeking an annulment? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC right away. Our family law attorneys will review your case to determine if an annulment is an option. If it is, we will guide you through the process and ensure you make the best decisions for your future. Call our office at (908) 738-8512, email us atinfo@awilliamslawgroup.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation Download our Free Resource Guide today!

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