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Getting divorced without an attorney can be a big mistake

Some people in Louisiana and elsewhere who are contemplating a divorce may be enticed by the thought of doing it on their own without an attorney, using instructions and forms found on some website on the Internet. While few would think of being their own doctor and treating their own illness based on information that any person without training can throw online right next to tales that Bigfoot is real, for some reason they may regard law differently.

Proceeding in that manner can be a big, damaging and costly mistake. There are at least five good reasons why an experienced divorce attorney is essential for a favorable outcome. The first is simply that the lawyer's knowledge and experience can ensure that you get everything that is coming to you at the conclusion of the divorce, and that all your rights are respected. Issues surrounding child custody, child support, spousal support, visitation and property division all have to be worked out in accordance with the law and through skilled negotiation or litigation.

Second, having a knowledgeable attorney guiding you every step of the way can reduce the stress cause by the process. Third, costly procedural mistakes, such as missing a legal deadline or other procedural requirement, can be avoided. A person trying to handle their own divorce may not even know that some of these requirements exist. Many are state specific or spelled out by a local court and its rules.

Fourth, having an attorney who knows their way around the local court will also avoid unnecessary delays that could hold up the divorce. Finally, an attorney can make sure that the final divorce decree and any settlement agreement contains everything in necessary detail. He or she will make sure all important issues are covered, thereby avoiding ambiguity or leaving unanswered questions.

Source: Huffington Post, "5 Reasons That You Need a Divorce Attorney" David Centeno, Sep. 17, 2013

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