If you are bracing for a divorce in the near future, you likely know the experience may be one of the most emotionally strenuous periods of your life. Regardless of how your divorce began, the actual process of legally dissolving your marriage can be incredibly stressful, expensive, and exhausting. Unfortunately, many people believe they can navigate this process inexpensively by handling it on their own. The reality is that working with the right divorce attorney in Columbia, MO, can offer significant benefits that no one in this position should ignore.
When you prepare for divorce, you must do so while also maintaining your day-to-day responsibilities, including going to work and caring for yourself and your family. Divorce can completely disrupt your everyday life but hiring the right attorney will make it a much easier process to handle. When you have reliable legal representation on your side, you will not need to address all the issues your divorce entails alone.
What Can an Attorney Do for Me?
The primary benefit to hiring a Columbia, MO divorce attorney to help you with your divorce case is the fact that you will not need to handle procedural requirements on your own. As a result, you will be able to approach every issue your divorce entails with greater confidence. An experienced Columbia, MO divorce lawyer can help you in many ways, including:
- Preparation. An attorney can help you prepare for your divorce in the initial phases, whether you are the one filing a divorce petition or responding to your spouse’s filed petition. Any missteps in the earliest stages of the divorce process can have significant consequences, so it is best to hire an attorney as soon as possible once you have made the decision to divorce.
- Determining alternatives. If you are unsure whether you must divorce, call our firm. An attorney can examine your situation and help you decide if an alternative such as legal separation would be helpful to your circumstances.
- Procedural responsibilities. When it comes time to deal with the Columbia, MO family court system, you can rely on your attorney to handle your procedural obligations with the local courthouse. Your attorney can also handle scheduling required court appearances as needed.
- Protective orders. In the event you or your children have experienced domestic violence from your spouse, an experienced attorney can secure a protective order to keep you and your family safe as your divorce case unfolds.
- Asset location. If you believe your spouse has hidden assets or engaged in any other unethical behavior related to your divorce, you could be headed for unfair property division. An experienced attorney will help you determine the best remedy to allow equitable division of property in your case.
- Expert witnesses. Some divorce cases involve complex financial questions that demand professional review. If your case requires input from expert witnesses, an experienced Columbia, MO divorce lawyer will have the professional connections you need to approach the situation with more confidence.
- Financial disclosures. You must gather complete records of all your assets, investments, and other property to ensure a fair result in property division. This is true whether you litigate your divorce or take advantage of alternative dispute resolution. While you may be confident in your ability to complete your financial disclosure on your own, it is always best to have an attorney guide you through this phase of your divorce to ensure you do not miss any crucial details.
These are just a few of the advantages an experienced attorney can provide to a Columbia, MO divorce case.
Determining How to Approach Your Divorce
Another important service your attorney can provide is to help you determine the best approach for handling your unique divorce case. Many couples throughout Missouri explore alternative dispute resolution to avoid the time and expense that divorce litigation demands. Alternative dispute resolution like mediation can help you to streamline your divorce while also allowing you to retain much more control over the matter.
Your divorce attorney can help you determine whether alternative dispute resolution is possible in your situation. The first requirement is that both you and your spouse must be willing to negotiate. If the two of you are not civil enough to sit down for mediation negotiations, alternative dispute resolution may not be an option. However, if you can agree on some issues, it is possible to partially resolve your divorce through mediation. That way, you can settle what issues you can, then move to litigation to allow a judge to make the rest of the decisions necessary.
If alternative dispute resolution is out of the question in your situation, your Columbia, MO divorce attorney will help you prepare for the litigation process. This portion of a divorce can take months or even years for overly complex cases. For example, if you and your spouse own substantial assets, then it may take quite a long time for the property division portion of your divorce case to reach a conclusion.
Find Your Attorney Today
If you are facing divorce in the near future, it is best to secure legal representation as soon as possible. Approaching the situation with an experienced attorney allows you to focus on your everyday responsibilities instead of struggling to meet legal obligations. Additionally, hiring an experienced divorce attorney will allow you to establish a strong rapport with a reliable legal representative.
This aspect of the attorney-client relationship is important because it is common for divorced people to revisit their family court orders. You may need to adjust child custody rights, argue for increased or decreased child support, or hold an ex-spouse in contempt for violating a family court order. The attorney you hire for your divorce can potentially help with these future issues as they will already know the details of your unique situation.
Ultimately, the divorce process can be incredibly challenging. Unfortunately, attempting to navigate divorce without legal counsel will only make it more difficult. If you are certain you are heading for divorce in the near future, contact an experienced Columbia, MO divorce lawyer as soon as possible.