Why Women Shouldn’t File For Divorce Without a Lawyer

Women Going Through Divorce Need Our Trustworthy Lawyers on Their Side

If you are considering filing for divorce, having a lawyer is better. Issues such as child custody, child support, property division, and spousal support get complicated, and it is important that decisions are reached which serve the best interests of your children and protect your rights and interests.

Once decisions such as those involving your children have been made, legal obligations will be placed upon you, which are difficult to change. In addition, if decisions regarding property division do not take into account all assets such as pensions, stocks and bonds, and insurance, then you give up your right to your share of them forever.

If you are filing for an uncontested divorce and you and your spouse agree on all issues, then you may be able to file for a do-it-yourself divorce. However, such a decision should be made with great care and consideration.

At WSM, we offer a free consultation to women facing divorce so you can, at the very least, gain some clarity on your next steps. We represent women exclusively, and we believe that this gives us a unique ability to meet their needs. Our goal is to support you so that you walk away from your marriage feeling secure and confident about your future.

Contact our law firm today to arrange a free consultation with an experienced divorce attorney at 380-212-3731.

A Divorce Attorney Will Fight to Protect Your Rights

As a woman, you have powerful constitutional rights. At WSM, we believe in empowering women with an understanding of their rights and will work with you to ensure that they are protected.

We will fight to protect your rights to:

A Divorce Attorney Will Guide You Through The Divorce Process

Divorce law is complex, and the sooner you have the help of an attorney, the better. An experienced attorney will work with you to develop a strategy from the beginning. They will also make sure that all legal paperwork is filed correctly and on time which will help to move the process forward efficiently without missing anything important or compromising your rights.

Divorce proceedings vary between cases, but most cases follow a similar structure:

  • File For Divorce – The first step is for one spouse to submit a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to your County Clerk, along with all accompanying documents.
  • Serve the Forms – Once one spouse has filed for divorce, the other will be served the divorce papers, usually via certified mail.
  • Waiting Period – Once the divorce has been filed, there is a minimum 60-day waiting period before the final hearing. However, most cases require more time to work out all contested issues.
  • Provisional Hearing – At the provisional hearing, both spouses present evidence to support their requests for temporary orders. The Judge will outline each party’s rights, responsibilities, and obligations until the divorce is finalized, including a parenting schedule, how bills will be paid, and who stays in the family home. Spouses may also come to their own provisional agreement with the help of their attorneys, which can be submitted to the Judge for approval.
  • The Discovery Process – After one spouse is served the divorce papers, they can file an Answer, outlining what they agree with and what they don’t. This begins the discovery process whereby spouses must exchange information such as evidence of assets, testimonies under oath, and written answers to questions.
  • Attend a Preliminary Hearing – You may be required to attend a preliminary hearing to discuss your divorce terms and to provide documents regarding your income, assets, expenses, and debts. You will also need to provide evidence of grounds for divorce. If you and your ex-spouse have already reached an agreement with the help of your attorneys, then the Judge will review it and could approve it straight away if everything is in line with the law.
  • Additional Hearings – If there are still contested issues, then you may require additional hearing dates so that the Judge can make rulings on outstanding issues. Your attorney will represent you in court.
  • Finalize The Divorce – Once all issues have been resolved, the Judge will sign your divorce decree and file it with the court.

A Divorce Lawyer Will Help You Evidence Grounds For Divorce

It’s important to note that the divorce laws can vary by state, and the specific procedures and requirements for filing for no-fault divorce or at-fault, referred to as dissolution, can differ. No-fault divorce means that neither party has to prove that the other spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Instead, one or both parties can simply state that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and that is sufficient grounds for divorce. In no-fault divorce states such as Indiana or Michigan, the court does not consider any misconduct or wrongdoing by either party when making decisions about property division, spousal support, child custody, or child support. 

On the other hand, at-fault divorce requires that one spouse prove that the other spouse did something to cause the breakdown of the marriage. Common grounds for at-fault divorce include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, or substance abuse. In Ohio, spouses can choose between an at-fault or no-fault divorce, which is referred to as dissolution. If a spouse chooses to file for an at-fault divorce in Ohio, they must provide evidence of the grounds for the divorce, and the court may consider this evidence when making decisions about property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support.

For example, in Ohio, extreme cruelty could be a basis for an at-fault divorce. In this situation, the Judge is likely to take this into account when ruling on key issues such as child custody and property division. Filing for an at-fault divorce where appropriate could help to protect your future by ensuring that the outcome of key issues reflects your experiences. However, you will need to provide clear and convincing evidence to a Judge. 

It’s best to consult with a family law attorney in your state for guidance on your particular situation.WSM’s experienced divorce lawyers can assist you in gathering the necessary evidence to prove fault in an at-fault divorce. Our compassionate and dedicated attorneys for women will guide you through the legal process and help you present a strong case in court to support your claims. 

A Divorce Lawyer Will Help Protect You if You Have Suffered Domestic Abuse

If you have suffered domestic violence or abuse, then it is incredibly difficult to take steps to leave. It is essential that you have the proper support from an attorney who has experience helping victims of abuse.

At WSM, our dedication to women has allowed us to create a space where our clients feel safe to come to us. This is why we have helped many women who have suffered abuse leave their marriages and move forward into a better life.

We will get to work quickly to file a protection order to keep your spouse away from you and your children. We will then work with you to evidence your claims so that the Judge is made aware of your experiences and considers them when ruling on key issues.

We will also work with you to create boundaries with your ex-spouse and will not allow them to control the negotiations. We will create the time and space where you can talk about matters relating to your divorce so that you can separate yourself from them.

If you are in immediate danger from your spouse, then you should contact the police right away. Once the immediate danger has passed, seek a free consultation with a divorce lawyer who can advise you on your next steps.

A Divorce Lawyer Will Help You Protect Your Child’s Best Interests

Hopefully, everyone wants what’s best for their children, but it is common for divorcing spouses to disagree about what that means. A divorce lawyer will help ensure that your children are prioritized in every decision.

Physical custody or parental responsibilities describe the time that each parent spends with their child. When it comes to creating a parenting plan, that usually means striking a balance between keeping both parents engaged in the child’s life and fostering stability. It is common for one parent to take on the role of primary caregiver while the other is granted visitation rights, such as every other weekend and one weekday evening.

Parental rights or legal custody describes the right of each parent to make important decisions on their child’s behalf, such as those involving medical and dental care, schooling, and religion. This could be shared, and parents will need to work together to make decisions, or it could be granted to one parent.

Custody arrangements will almost always be shared unless one spouse poses a risk to their child’s wellbeing. If you have concerns that your child’s other parent poses a risk to them, you will need to present clear evidence to a Judge. They may still be awarded supervised visitation, which you will need to facilitate.

Child custody arrangements can take many forms, and your attorney will help you to explore your options and to reach a decision that serves your child’s best interests and fits with their schedule.

A Divorce Lawyer Will Help Protect Your Assets

Diving assets is often one of the most complex issues of any divorce. Both Indiana and Ohio are equitable distribution states, which means that marital property must be divided in a just and fair manner after your marriage ends.

Separate property, which is property that either spouse owned before they were married, continues to belong to each individual after divorce. Separate property can also include inheritance, compensation, and gifts.

Martial property or community property is anything either party acquired while they were married to each other. Community property can include real estate, bank accounts, pensions, retirement accounts, stocks and bonds, self-owned businesses, investments, offshore real estate, and more.

Marital assets are subject to equitable division and the Judge will consider many factors to determine what that means, such as who has primary care of the children, the ability of each spouse to earn money, the length of the marriage, and the contributions of each spouse.

An experienced divorce attorney will help to ensure that you receive your fair share of the property. If your soon-to-be ex is trying to hide assets or claim that some property is separate when it really shouldn’t be, they will work tirelessly to recover them and ensure that they are included in your marital property.

Your attorney will also learn what assets are important to you and will help you fight to keep them. For example, perhaps it makes sense for you to keep the family home as you are going to care for the children for the majority of the time. Your attorney will help you to argue your case.

A Divorce Lawyer Will Help Negotiate Child Support and Spousal Support

If you become the primary caregiver of your children, then your ex-spouse will need to pay you child support. Child support is based on state guidelines. However, if your case involves high assets or your child has additional needs such as private school education, then your attorney can help you negotiate a child support amount that exceeds standard guidelines.

Unlike child support, there are no clear guidelines for spousal maintenance. It is usually awarded in cases that involve a significant income disparity, and Judges will also consider the length of the marriage, the age and health of both parties, and the grounds for divorce.

If you have given up job opportunities or education to care for your children and home, then this should also be a big consideration when determining whether you are owed spousal support.

A spousal support order is often temporary and will allow you enough time to undergo education or training and find work so that you can support yourself. There are also situations where spousal support could be awarded indefinitely, such as if you are caring for a dependent adult child or you have a disability that prevents you from working.

If you should be owed spousal support then your attorney will help you fight for an agreement that supports your needs. For some women, this can be a lifeline that gives them the time they need to support themselves so that they can leave their marriage feeling secure. Or, if spousal maintenance is being requested from you then your attorney will help ensure that a fair decision is made that does not put you in financial hardship.

A Divorce Lawyer Will Help You Negotiate

A divorce lawyer will act as an objective third party, they are not emotionally connected to the situation and can act as a voice of reason. They will help you and your spouse stay on track to navigate the divorce process and prioritize your children. Your divorce attorney acts in your best interests, which can also involve being honest with you if you are acting out of emotion.

Even divorces that seem straightforward can quickly become frustrating. Divorce lawyers can help spouses reach agreements on key issues that are in line with family law. In doing so, they can limit the need for court involvement and help you reach decisions that are personalized to your needs. When you can reach agreements with your ex-spouse it also saves time and money on lengthy court proceedings.

A Divorce Lawyer Will Represent You in Court

If you and your ex-spouse cannot reach agreements on key issues, then court hearings may be necessary. When you do attend court it is comforting and beneficial to have an attorney who acts as your advocate.

Your attorney will speak on your behalf in court and present your case to a Judge. If you are required to provide testimony then they will also help you to prepare for court.

When you have an experienced divorce lawyer at your side, you can be confident that no matter what direction your case takes, you will have the support and guidance of someone with your best interests at heart.

Why Shouldn’t Women File for Divorce Without a Lawyer?

The outcome of your divorce will have far-reaching implications for your future, therefore, it is important to have support and guidance. If you are filing for divorce then an attorney can protect your rights, ease the stress of navigating divorce, and fight for your best interests.

At WSM, we are committed to helping women navigate divorce and other family law matters. We have a wealth of experience in high-asset and high-conflict divorces and can support you in any complication that your case may present.

When you have one of our divorce lawyers by your side, you can rest a little easier in the knowledge that everything possible is being done to support you. Our goal is for you to move forward with your life in confidence.

Contact us today at 380-212-3731 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced divorce attorney.