If you are facing the dissolution of a marriage, then you need to hire a family lawyer, especially if there are children involved. We know that this is a daunting task and that nobody in this situation wants to start thinking about alimony, child custody, or the separation of assets right away. However, we hope you take comfort in the fact that you’re in good company; 10% of the population is going through or has gone through a divorce, and nearly 1.5 million children come from what we so derisively culturally dub “broken homes.” What’s more, hiring a family lawyer sooner rather than later can take some of the breakage out of the broken by ensuring that your divorce is as fast, just, organized, and amicable as possible, especially as it relates to custody.
I’ll use my own case as a small ode to the family lawyer. My mother and father divorced when I was eight years old. Even though they were in the minority of cases where the decision to get a divorce was not one-sided, the battle over custody of my brothers and I was a bitter one. My mother hired a better lawyer and so even though she had been unfaithful to my father, abused drugs during the marriage, and admittedly had little interest in raising us, she still achieved custody rights over us the first go-around. Only after my father hired a family lawyer who proved that my mother had been a neglectful and unfit parent and prompted my brothers and I to tell our stories in court did he achieve full custody of us and beat my mother’s aggressive legal team.
They say that justice is blind, and that’s true, but it’s not the comfort the adage suggests. Often, justice is blind to what it is not exposed to– i.e., evidence and the whole story. This was definitely true in my custody case and it may be true in yours. Without a good family lawyer to keep track of important paperwork, court dates, and strategize in your favor, you cannot hope to navigate the legal system in the most efficient way. What’s more, if you’re facing a divorce you’re probably in no fit emotional state to engage in complex decision making on your own.
If you just can’t stomach the idea of some Perry Mason type marching into a court room and demanding things on your behalf, or if you are truly amicable with your estranged partner, we implore you to at least consider hiring a divorce mediation professional. They will be able to walk you through the complexities of a divorce in a timely, orderly fashion so that you and your future ex aren’t stuck at the table sifting through things together any longer than you need to be. Hiring a mediation professional also reduces the chances of you and your ex “missing” anything important, and will increase the morale of everyone involved.