By law, you aren’t required to hire a divorce lawyer in either contested or uncontested divorces. However, there are certain instances where having professional assistance can be beneficial.
A good lawyer will read through all relevant documents to ensure they’re valid and that nothing is missing. A great attorney will also explain all legal protocols regarding the divorce, so that you’re never left in the dark.
Are You Sure You Are Including “Everything”?
There are many instances where couples feel that they agree on everything that is to be split in the marriage. But in reality, these folks rarely realize how much is truly involved.
Most separating spouses aren’t aware of what should (or must) be included in the divorce agreement.
Some examples of details that should be included are:
- A detailed parenting time schedule
- Specifics about spousal maintenance and child support (if applicable)
- Provisions regarding life insurance beneficiaries
- How retirement accounts will be divided
- Details about the sale of your family home, etc.
Things to Consider in a Marital Settlement Agreement
Life Insurance Questions to Consider:
- Total value of the death benefit?
- Are there multiple beneficiaries?
- Who owns the policy?
- Have you determined a plan to confirm how premiums will be paid?
Retirement Questions to Consider:
- Are you drafting the documents to divide retirement benefits?
- Is there a defined contribution and benefit plan?
Matrimonial Home Questions to Consider:
- Who will pay the mortgage, taxes, and insurance while the house is on the market?
- Who gets to live in the house when it is on the market?
- Are there any repairs needed to go into the house? Who is paying for those repairs?
Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer for a Marital Settlement Agreement?
If you’re filing for an uncontested divorce and need to draft a divorce settlement agreement, or separation/domestic agreement, a lawyer’s service could prove useful.
It is a possibility for you to draft your own settlement agreement. However, it is very important to bring it in front of a lawyer before moving forward. This is because there are many parts involved in a settlement agreement and it can be easily dismissed if anything is missed. In fact, a court may set aside an agreement for lack of disclosure, or failing to obtain independent legal advice. Having a lawyer sign off with you and your ex is one way to ensure that the agreement is air-tight.
Although you might not feel like you need a lawyer for your divorce proceedings, it’s best to connect with a lawyer to ensure that you aren’t missing out on any assets that were being shared in the marriage. This will also bring you peace of mind to ensure that nothing you are doing can come back to haunt you in the future.
If you are interested in learning more about how to draft a domestic agreement and the different types of options available please contact us now.
This blog is made available by the law firm publisher, Epstein & Associates, for educational purposes. It provides general information and a general understanding of the law but does not provide specific legal advice. Any specific questions about your legal concerns please contact us now and speak to an expert today.