If you are in the middle of your divorce, you may be wondering if you can still hire a lawyer. You are not alone if you did not hire an attorney from the onset of your divorce case. You may have thought you would not need a divorce lawyer because you and your spouse agreed on divorce terms or counseling has not been successful. Maybe new information has come out during the case. Whatever the reason, it is not too late to hire a divorce lawyer.
You Can Hire a Divorce Attorney at Any Time
If you started off representing yourself in your divorce, you can hire an attorney at any time. As long as your divorce is still pending, it is not too late to hire an attorney. This is true whether you were served divorce papers a few weeks ago or your case is almost wrapped up.
Divorce can get highly personal, and sometimes new information comes out along the way. Maybe your spouse has assets that you did not know about.
New information can make you reconsider your decision to represent yourself. In addition, many people do not realize how complicated it can be to represent themselves in a divorce.
What seemed straightforward at first can feel overwhelming by the middle of the proceeding.
It is in your best interest to hire a lawyer to avoid missing a deadline or making other mistakes.
What Should I Know About Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in the Middle of My Case?
While it is never too late to hire an attorney in your divorce, it is always better to hire an attorney at the beginning of the case.
A few issues can arise when you hire a lawyer in the middle or near the end of proceedings.
Missed Negotiation Opportunities
A lawyer may have been able to discuss some of the divorce issues with your spouse and your spouse’s counsel at the beginning of the case. Meeting in the middle on a few issues early on can shape the way the case progresses. If your divorce case is in its final stages, it may be much harder to negotiate a compromise with your spouse.
When you hire a lawyer later in a divorce case, the lawyer will have to take time to get to know the case. They will have to learn about the contested issues, review anything that has already been filed, and understand your desired outcomes. This is a lot of work. If you hire an attorney shortly before a hearing or another deadline, the attorney will have to do all this work in a short span of time. Some lawyers may charge an increased fee for this increased workload.
Talk to a Divorce Attorney
While hiring a divorce attorney later in your case is not ideal, you should still consider it. If your case has suddenly become contested or you are realizing you cannot handle representing yourself, a lawyer can help you achieve a better outcome. An unfavorable divorce agreement can affect your family and financial life in negative ways. Hiring an attorney can improve the final outcome of your case, even if you hire late.