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Do I Need to Hire a Divorce/Family Attorney Before Beginning My Divorce?

One of the first questions someone who is getting divorced usually asks is whether they need to hire an attorney to help them get through their divorce? In actuality however, the more appropriate question should be, do I need to hire a family attorney or do I need to consult with a family attorney first?

Getting divorced can be one of the most stressful and difficult life situations a person can find themselves in, so when confronted with how best to move forward in a divorce and what to do about an attorney there is no one clear answer that fits every person’s situation.

The answer generally is two-fold; in the first instance, everyone going through a divorce will always benefit from consulting with one or more experienced family attorneys who practice in your city.

Regardless of your family’s unique situation, having to deal with the loss of your family and marriage is bad enough, but not knowing how best to proceed and what your rights are legally, can serve to make going through a divorce an almost unbearable situation for anyone. So it is always a good idea for everyone going through divorce to seek experienced and competent legal advice from a licensed family attorney and not anyone else.

Once you have sought legal advice from a family attorney and you have a general idea of what you are facing, you then need to decide most importantly whether you need to actually hire an attorney to represent you or not, which leads to the second answer.

Whether or not you need to hire an attorney really depends on the situation you find yourself in with your spouse. If your situation is one that is complicated, ugly, contentious, problematic, and perhaps even scary or dangerous, you definitely need to hire an attorney.

On the other hand, even though you and your spouse have come to the realization that your marriage isn’t working out, that doesn’t mean that it has to complicated and ugly to the point where you need to litigate your divorce in front of a judge. While a judge is knowledgeable they are only human, and they surely do not know your family situation like you do, and the decisions they will make for you will affect your family for years to come.

While every single family dynamic is different with varying degrees of complication and family issues, there are generally two types of couples in a divorce; the couples that are at war with each other and the couples that are still able to work things out amicably between them. While this in no way covers the issues really concerned in an actual divorce, one of the most important points at the beginning of your divorce is deciding how best to move forward where an attorney is concerned. Do I need to hire an attorney or do I just need a good consultation from an attorney?

The couples that are at war with each other are typically the ones that really need to hire attorneys, with both spouses spending a lot of money to have their attorneys litigate their issues in court over many months and sometimes even years.

However, those couples that realize that their sanity, time, resources and money are better served on moving forward with their lives as well as for their children’s benefit, need first and foremost to seek out reliable and experienced legal advice. Then they can decide how best to move forward and try to resolve their divorce hopefully in a way that does not necessarily have to involve complex litigation and lawyers.

At the end of the day, those couples that can work together have more options than those couples who are blinded by hurt, angry and can agree on little to nothing. Figuring out what options are or are not available to you in your family’s situation will usually begin with an attorney consultation, which is worth its weight in gold, even if you have to pay for an hour of an attorney’s time.

Sometimes the biggest mistakes are made when the divorce process is not begun the right way, which is with at the very least a consultation with a family attorney. Often times divorcing couples try to cut corners to save money, or they do it themselves with no legal advice, based on either their own misconceptions or the usually wrong advice from friends, family and sometimes even a local notary.

After both parties have gotten good legal advice, they can then decide whether to hire a licensed Florida family attorney, or they can decide to use an experienced Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator to help them through their divorce.

The good thing about divorce in the state of Florida is that the courts have recognized the importance of mediation and have mediation a necessary and mandatory part of the divorce process, either at court ordered mediation, or in a pre-suit mediation conference, which can both always take place with or without an attorney present.

Those smart and lucky couples who can put their claws away for the benefit of the family and decide to try and work out their issues with an experienced and compassionate mediator at a private or court ordered mediation, have some of the best chances to come to a good and meaningful agreement that is in everyone’s best interest.

Either way however, the only way to know whether you need to actually hire an attorney or just consult with one before beginning your divorce, begins with actually talking to an attorney to help you figure out the best solutions moving forward based upon your individual and unique family circumstances.




Tye Bourdony

Upon graduating from the Barry University School of Law in Orlando FL, Tye Bourdony was fortunate enough to work as the staff family mediator for Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit at the Osceola County Courthouse Dispute Resolution department from August of 2010 through April of 2017. While on staff at the… MORE >

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