Times When You May Not Need a LawyerA lawyer isn't necessary for a divorce when you have no marital assets or children. Oftentimes, this comes up when you're getting an annulment or when you've been married for only a short time. The quickest routes through divorce court involve relinquishing all of your rights for equitable support, as well as spousal support. If you don't want these things, then you don't need a lawyer. All you need are the forms, which you can generally obtain from your local courthouse or clerk's office.
Times When You Do Need a LawyerWhenever children are involved, you will want to have a lawyer assist you with the agreement. In some states, the court may even provide legal assistance. All states have some variation on a "best interests of the child standard," meaning that the primary focus in the divorce will be providing for the children. Your rights as a parent could be severely restricted, or you may find yourself in a difficult position. Whenever you have assets in the marriage to be divided or want spousal support, you will also want a lawyer. You should also get a lawyer if your spouse decides that she wants any of these things, since you could easily find yourself losing just about everything.
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This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.