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October 11th, 2018

Do I Really Need An Attorney?

by Wagner & Bloch

We have all heard it before: “My neighbor didn’t have an attorney and he was taken to the cleaners!” Or, often more commonly: “The only people who win in a divorce are the attorneys!” Less commonly: “My friend didn’t get an attorney and she got everything she wanted!”

Hiring an attorney is entirely up to you and is very much based on what needs to be accomplished. Do you have young children? Do you know your finances well? If not, do you trust your spouse to explain them to you? Do you own a business? Assets? Pre-marital assets? Is there domestic violence? Does anyone have a disability? Do you think things will change in a few years? People are able to get divorced with or without attorneys; however, as the matter becomes more complicated or if it was already complex, the more likely it is that an attorney would be helpful. On the other hand, even in a less complex matter, an attorney can usually accomplish the work more quickly, which leaves less work and headache for you.

I once represented a woman in a divorce who later remarried. She asked me to look at her new husband’s divorce decree because, as she put it, “He was paying way too much alimony (spousal support) to his ex-wife.” So I looked at it. As it turns out, he was paying way too much spousal support. In fact, he was paying more than half of his income to her and there was no end in sight. To make matters worse, the spousal support was not modifiable. I told my client what I read and told her of the legal impact. She said her new husband had no idea that the support would go on indefinitely or that he could not change it. His ex-wife had an attorney, but he did not.

Could he have made this deal even if had an attorney? Sure. In fact, it may have been what he wanted at the time. He may not have been thinking about getting remarried. But, as attorneys, our job is to make sure that you know the legal ramifications of court orders, as well as your own agreements. We take time to make sure you understand everything before you sign it.

This is just one example of a situation where having an attorney could have saved this man a lot of money and grief. Please call 513.751.4420 to schedule a time to talk with one of the attorneys at Wagner & Bloch about your specific situation.