I often hear from coaching clients, “Well, I don’t know if I need an attorney.” It is always a good idea to at least have a consultation with an experienced family law attorney in your area so you can get educated on the divorce process and expected timeline, have your questions answered, and learn about issues that may exist in your case you had perhaps not even been aware of that need to be addressed. Do not equate the value of a consultation with a family law attorney with your ability to do a Google search on divorce-related topics or ask a friend what happened in their divorce. On occasion, I have had clients in my litigation practice tell me they read this or that on the internet or that their friend told them this or that and whatever that advice was was almost always wrong and caused the client to have misinformed expectations.
Many attorneys offer free consultations, so there can be no cost downside to just obtaining the information they have to share. I have had many potential clients tell me at the end of our consultations that they just felt better and relieved because they had learned so much on our call and it helped put their mind at ease as to what to expect as they move through the case, regardless of whether they decided to move forward with legal representation. It can also help eliminate a spouse’s ability to effectively intimidate or control you with threats they cannot legally carry out. (Think: “I am going to take the kids away from you!” Or, “If you leave, you will never get spousal support from me!”)
Finally, it is less expensive to hire a qualified attorney to do the job right the first time than to pay one later to try to undo and redo what you did wrong on your own. Trust me, I’ve been tasked with those projects time and time again.