By: Lisa Marie Vari
Divorces are an extremely emotional time in your life when things are changing which brings a lot of added stress to your life. Imagine taking all that initial stress and adding on having to handle your case without an attorney. While we understand that people are hesitant to hire an attorney because they believe it will just escalate the tension between you and your ex; however, having a Pennsylvania divorce attorney can actually take a lot of that tension causing stress off of your shoulders. Here are some things that your divorce attorney is well equipped to do that you may not think of:
1. Find "hidden" assets. In all Pennsylvania divorce cases each party is required to provide mandatory discovery to each other which includes information about all the assets the person has. Many times people believe that the other party is hiding assets so as to show that they do not have much to their name but a divorce attorney would be able to question the other party on these allegedly hidden assets. Also, often times when people hear the word asset they do not think of things such as china, paintings, and jewelry. Your divorce attorney would know to look and ask for those assets.
2. Negotiate with your ex-spouse's attorney. Cases are most likely to settle out of court; however, without an attorney a party is likely going to be very emotional about what is being discussed lowering the chances of settling. Having an attorney would keep emotions out of the negotiation process likely leading to a settlement.
3. Evaluate settlement offers. Settlement offers are usually never entirely fair the first time around but many people, which do not have attorneys, will likely take the offer so as to finalize the divorce. A well-qualified attorney would read over every settlement offer and inform you on what changes can and should be made so that you get your fair share. The attorney wants to help you end your marriage as quickly as you do but they also want to make sure you are not getting less than what you deserve.
4. Calculate and argue for alimony and child support. While there are free child support calculators online they are very complicated to understand and often do not take into account certain factors that the court can examine to determine the appropriate amount of child support. In Pennsylvania there is no mathematical equation to calculate alimony. An attorney would be able to look at the facts of your case and evaluate what would be taken into account when a court decides child support and alimony payments and would be able to create an argument that would be in your favor.
5. Anticipate legal issues you may not have considered. Divorce attorneys approach your case with the knowledge that they have gained from previous cases. This not only allows them to view your case in a comparing way to others they have worked on but also gives them an insight into what possible legal issues can arise and how to defeat those challenges.
At Lisa Marie Vari & Associates our family law attorneys would be able to do all these things for you while keeping in constant contact with you so that you always know how your case is progressing. Contact our office today to set up a consultation.