If you or someone you love is considering divorce or legal separation in Long Beach, CA, you likely feel frustrated, disappointed or hurt, and simply may not know where to turn. You may have been told that you need to find a Long Beach family law attorney immediately or even be considering representing yourself in divorce proceedings. But, what is the best option?
It depends on your situation. Although Abraham Lincoln would say, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client,” it is our belief that the situation depends on your specific circumstances. For instance, if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse agrees on property distribution, alimony and child custody, then a court-appointed or private mediator can help you draft your marital settlement agreement. However, if the divorce is contested, there are child custody, spousal/child support and asset distribution issues that may be in limbo, in which case an attorney will likely be your best choice.
The best way to decide as to which method works for you is to visit the family law self-help center that is equipped with resources and classes available to you. Learn all you can about the divorce process in California and then take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror, asking yourself for the honest answers to these hard questions:
- Do you have the desire to defend yourself and do you have adequate legal knowledge to represent your rights in court?
- Do you have ample time to research and gather evidence that can be used to win your case? Do you know what evidence is needed and how to obtain it?
- Do you know which legal documents need to be filed and how to file them?
- Are you familiar with court procedures and case law as they relate to Long Beach divorce law?
- Can you draft required legal documents to meet legal requirements?
- Do you have the self-confidence to present your case?
- Are you knowledgeable about relevant legal case law and statues?
If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, then representing yourself may not be a bad idea. However, if you mostly answered “no,” hiring an attorney in the Long Beach area not only makes sense, but is the best course of action.
The attorney can offer guidance on how to adequately present evidence and administer invaluable advice on how to structure your case for the best possible outcome.
In conclusion, was Abe Lincoln right? Is hiring an attorney the best choice for everyone? Not necessarily. Whether a family lawyer Long Beach is best for you depends honestly on you, your legal knowledge, and your situation with your spouse. By doing a bit of research and self-exploration, you’ll be best able to answer this question.