Yes, you need a lawyer to help with your divorce because:
- Even if you have reached an amicable agreement before signing any papers you should know your rights and obligations.
- The application for divorce is only one aspect of a permanent separation. Other matters to consider are property settlement, parenting, child support and spousal maintenance. These are complex areas of the law and you should receive advice about advantages and disadvantages of the proposed agreement.
- Any agreement about parenting must consider the best interest of your children. The Family Court may consider that your proposed arrangements are not in the best interest of your children. Your lawyer should be able to spot any potential problems before the agreement reaches the Family Court for lodgement.
- A property settlement must be fair and equitable and a lawyer can advise you if your agreement satisfies the criteria. If you have reached an agreement which is not fair and equitable the Family Court may reject your proposal.
- There are Court documents, such as application forms and minute of consent orders, that must be lodged. If the documents are not drafted correctly they will be rejected or returned with a requisition for significant changes.
You may also require an accounting advice about the possible tax effects resulting from the division of the assets. You can negotiate with your lawyer the scope of their involvement in your matter so you can feel comfortable and know what to expect.
Suggested way forward
Retain a lawyer specialising in family law and instruct them to advise on the terms of the proposed separation agreement with your spouse.