Florida Divorce: Do I really need an Attorney?

I have had several people come to me in the untold number of years that I have practiced law who have asked me if they need to have a divorce  attorney to handle their dissolution of marriage case.   

I am a bit humored when asked that because a lot of times I feel like a mechanic must feel when someone drives up with a car that has a smoke curling up from the engine and the car dies pulling into their parking lot.   That said, there is no real easy answer to the question of whether you need a lawyer for your Florida divorce,  but I can say that more often than not it is better to have an attorney.  

Why, you ask… well here is why. 

  1. There are some great forms out there that you can use to fill in the blank but if you have never gone through a divorce before let alone filed out the forms for Florida divorce, you do not know if you are filling them out correctly or what to ask for.
  2. That last part leads to my second point, what to ask for… unless you are well versed in the Florida Law on Dissolution of Marriage (a.k.a. Florida Statute 61), how do you know what to put on those forms.
  3. The final reason I would suggest that is better to have an attorney is because generally speaking there are emotions involved in the termination of a relationship and most people to not operate with a clear head when they are emotional.  

The bottom line is that choosing to use an attorney or not is personal but ultimately remember that you are making decisions that will literally effect the rest of your life, so chose wisely… because making the wrong decision could cost you more than the money you pay your attorney.



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