Do I need to hire an attorney for my divorce in New York?

Joan Iacono

Answered by:
Joan Iacono

Located in Bronxville, NY

Joan Iacono - Family Law - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Joan Iacono

Bronxville, NY
Phone: 914-961-0565

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Though it may be possible for you to complete the divorce process in New York on your own, it is not recommended.

You Will Not Understand Some Of The Finer Points

Even if you are reaching an agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, there are many issues you may not even know to discuss. Many of the do-it-yourself divorce documents and documents that you can obtain from your county courthouse contain standard legal language that is extremely general and does not cover anything specific. This may be fine if you have no assets, no debts, no nothing. But if you have even a single marital asset, how do you know how to divide that asset? Even if you agree, do you know that your best interests are being protected?

If It Is Not Settled Amicably

If you and your spouse are not able to settle your divorce amicably, the matter will go to court. You can go to court and represent yourself without an attorney. However, a judge will not always look to protect the pro se litigant (the person representing him or herself without an attorney). You do not want to be the one to show up to court by yourself, while your spouse has a lawyer.

Complicated Issues

Dividing retirement assets, QDROs (qualified domestic relations orders), property division, business valuations and more: These types of matters can vastly complicate a divorce. Most people cannot divide these types of marital assets on their own.

The Benefits Of Having An Attorney

When you enlist a lawyer to handle your divorce, you get:

  • You get someone who has been handling this for years (and in our case, over 35 years), and has seen it all.
  • Along with experience comes the handling of so many types of cases, situations, happy clients, angry clients. That type of case diversity allows us flexibility in strategizing how to approach your divorce.
  • Your lawyer knows the law and how to apply it to your case. This will help move your case forward and ensure that your rights and best interests are protected.
  • Because we’ve been there and seen it all, we know the emotional toll that divorce takes on our clients. We strive to handle the legal issues on your behalf so you can focus on your family and moving forward with your life.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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