I WANT TO GET DIVORCED IN UTAH …DO I NEED TO HIRE A LAWYER?
The short answer is no, you do not need to hire a lawyer. But the best way to look at it is by examining the pros & cons of your situation. Is your situation mutually agreed upon or does one spouse really oppose taking a cooperative path? Even if you agree on everything do you know what to do?
Do you have children? How is child custody and support determined? Do you have assets? Liabilities? Retirement accounts? Will alimony be an issue? There are many legal complexities dealing with these issues that can be a pitfall for the uninformed.
In Utah, if one of the parties wants to get divorced, no matter how much the other party doesn’t, they will be able to get divorced. It is better to participate in what your Decree of Divorce states, even though divorce is not what you may want, than to stand by and watch what happens with no input concerning the outcome.
When an attorney is hired, they can only represent the party hiring them. They cannot ethically represent both parties. So what if one party hires a lawyer and the other party doesn’t? Your spouse’s lawyer cannot represent you. A divorce mediator represents neither party but is required to be neutral and help BOTH parties reach a mutually acceptable outcome.
Fortunately most people don’t have a lot of experience getting divorced so they don’t know what they don’t know.
Getting divorced is not easy emotionally and sometimes financially. The path has many pitfalls and detours. An experienced divorce mediator can help navigate the path by working with you to tell you what the law requires and what the statutes say. Many times a couple will say they agree on everything, but then they find out that they didn’t know all of the issues they had to agree upon.
In mediation, the individual parties make all the decisions. The mediator should give them all the information they need so that they can make informed decisions. The divorce mediator acts as the guide through this process helping with the issues that must be dealt with in a manner that the court will accept.
If the divorce documents are not prepared properly, the Final Decree of Divorce does not get signed until they are done correctly.
Getting divorced is one of the most important decisions a couple will make. It determines their financial obligations, child support, custody, parenting plans, division of assets, liabilities, retirement accounts, their home and their future relationship. Would anyone really want to leave these important issues to filling in the blanks on a form? Every couple is different, and how they deal with those issues is also different. Consequently their agreement will be different from another couple with similar issues.
An experienced divorce mediator with a background of legal skills can help with the required documents needed to prepare you for the next phase of your life.