Divorce Attorney Wausau: Do You Need a Lawyer or Not?

 In Divorce, Custody & Placement

Find out how our divorce attorneys can assist you.

The majority of divorcing spouses in Wisconsin are represented by a divorce attorney.  A study conducted by Judi McMullen and Debra Oswald examined a random sample of 567 divorce cases from Waukesha County, Wisconsin.  The results of their research were recently published in The Journal of Law & Family Studies.  (“Why Do We Need a Lawyer? An Empirical Study of Divorce Cases,” 12 J. Law & Fam. Studies 57 (2010); available here).  In the cases studied, 62.3% of wives and 56.1% of husbands were represented by a divorce lawyer.

Divorce Attorney Wausau Commentary:

There is no legal requirement that you hire a lawyer for your divorce.  In deciding whether or not you need representation, remember:

  • If your spouse hired a divorce attorney to “write up the papers,” that lawyer does not represent you and will only be looking out for your spouse’s interests.
  • Having a divorce attorney to represent your interests is particularly important if you have been married for a number of years, have children together, or have substantial assets or debts.
  • Trying to “save” money by not having a divorce attorney may end up costing you more in the end.

The McMullen & Oswald study found that:

  • one spouse hiring an attorney increased the likelihood that the other spouse would also be represented by an attorney
  • men and women who had legal counsel tended to:
    • come from marriages where the husband had a higher income
    • have had longer marriages
    • have minor children
  • maintenance (or “alimony”) was most likely to be awarded in cases where both spouses had an attorney

The authors noted that factors such as higher income, a longer marriage and having minor children are all factors that complicate the resolution of a divorce, and may make self-representation inadvisable.  On the other hand, a couple divorcing after a short-term marriage, with few assets and no minor children, may be able to handle their case on their own.  The fact that the data seems to support this suggests that parties generally have a good sense of when they need an attorney and when they don’t.

Divorce Attorney Wausau Commentary

If you are representing yourself in your divorce, but need guidance or advice on a particular issue, one of our Wausau divorce attorneys can provide you with legal advice on an as-needed basis.   Frequently, pro-se divorce litigants come in for a short consultation, providing them with valuable advice on how to handle their case.  This keeps down the cost of your divorce, while still providing you with the legal expertise you may need.

Divorce Attorney Wausau Contact Info

Divorce Attorney WausauIf you have questions about divorce, call a divorce attorney Wausau at our law office for a free telephone consultation. Call 715.843.6700 to speak with a divorce attorney Wausau. Email a divorce attorney Wausau. Get more information to discuss with a divorce attorney Wausau.  Learn more about divorce procedure in Wisconsin.

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