Do I need to consult with a divorce attorney?
Consulting with a divorce attorney prior to a divorce is a must. Going through a divorce is one of the most life-altering moments of a person’s life. Not being prepared for this massive life event creates a lost opportunity to fairly and equitably divide assets and debts and to determine the parent’s legal rights involving child custody and parenting time. Most attorneys charge a consultation fee for a 30 to 60-minute appointment which is a wise investment in the short and long term.
Can I sign a divorce agreement without a lawyer?
Absolutely. There is no law that says a person going through a divorce must have an attorney representing them and providing legal advice through the process. Minnesota law requires a judge to enforce a divorce agreement signed by both spouses which makes sense because otherwise what good is an agreement that took time and effort to negotiate. However, agreements that are unclear, that misstates the parties’ intentions, fail to take into account certain issues the parties forgot to include or were overlooked also are enforced by a judge. Having a divorce attorney present with a party during negotiations or a mediation eliminates these errors that can cause expensive and time-consuming litigation.
Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First?
No. Minnesota law does not favor the parties any differently if one started the divorce versus a person who got served with divorce paperwork. Both spouses are treated the same and have identical legal rights throughout a divorce.
How can a Family Attorney help me?
A family law attorney helps in a variety of important ways. First, we explain Minnesota divorce law and how it specifically applies to our client which helps him or her strategize the best outcome. Second, we advocate for the client with the judge and opposing attorney if there is one. Next, we prepare our client for the various steps throughout the divorce including mediation or a Trial. And last but not least, we listen to our client’s wants, wishes, and needs to understand what is important to them. The attorney/client relationship requires communication at its core.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with a divorce attorney, Jessica Sterle, please schedule an initial consultation appointment online and fill out the Consultation Intake Form.