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Family law encompasses a variety of practice areas such as adoption, divorce, and child custody. Some have wondered if our court system is the best place for two people, who once loved each other, to fight in an adversarial process. Some strides have been made to move divorce into a more collaborative process, like mediation, but the judicial branch is still heavily involved in the divorce and custody arena. If you have decided that divorce is your only option, here are some things to consider.
If you have no kids, have been married a relatively short period of time, did not bring much property into the marriage, have not acquired a lot of property or debt during the marriage and you and your spouse just want to separate from one another amicably; in this type of circumstance, getting an attorney may not be necessary (see court assistance link below).
If you or your spouse acquired assets or debts that exceed a couple thousand dollars during the marriage, it would seem worthwhile to at least consult an attorney. If you have acquired assets or debts in amounts that are greater than that, you should probably hire a lawyer.
If you and your spouse have children at home, you definitely should get an attorney. Further, parents with children should at least consider mediation. It is not right for every situation, but it should at least be considered; particularly when kids are involved.