Many times, couples who are trying to amicably and mutually dissolve their marriage may start the divorce process without attorneys. They do this in the hope that they will be able to work together to find a mutually beneficial and agreeable solution to any issues that arise.
However, divorce often brings out strong and negative emotions in otherwise reasonable people. Particularly if you have a lot of assets, from a second home to retirement accounts and valuable collectibles, partnering with an attorney is one of the best ways to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of marital assets.
An attorney knows where to look for hidden assets
If your former spouse was intending to file for divorce for some time before doing so, he or she may have been moving or hiding assets to protect oneself during the divorce. An experienced divorce attorney understands how common of a practice this in in high asset divorce cases. They know where to look for hidden assets.
An experienced divorce attorney also knows other professionals, such as forensic accountants, who can review financial data to determine if asset hiding or similar practices were being employed prior to the request for a divorce. It will be nearly impossible to do that on your own.
An attorney can help put a fair price on assets
From retirement accounts to vintage comic book collections, many assets aren't easily divided. This is, in part, because it can be hard to put an exact value on these items. An attorney can connect you with an appraiser who can determine the actual value of items such as a cottage, an expensive collection, or non-liquid investment accounts.
Without a professional valuation, it will be hard for you and your former spouse to agree on the price tag associated with your non-traditional marital assets. From classic cars to vacant, unimproved land, professional valuation can ensure assets are fairly priced and divided.
An attorney can help you focus on the big picture
Maybe the assets that have the most emotional and nostalgic value for you don't have much financial value overall. Having an attorney help you in the process of asset division ensures that you don't let your emotional connection to a property or possession alter your judgment during a divorce. A legal advocate can help you retain a long-term perspective, balancing the desire for emotionally valuable possessions with the need for financial security.
If both you and your former spouse wish to retain ownership of the marital home, for example, an attorney can help you negotiate a mutually beneficial arrangement, instead of leaving the final decision to a judge. If you must argue your case before a judge, an attorney will help present a calmer and more legally valid argument as to your claim to certain assets. If you are going through a divorce with a lot of assets to divide, it is in your best interest to secure the help of an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible.