When a couple decide to separate, they may not always turn into the stereotypical, battling exes who fight each other in court every step of the way. Some couples go through an amicable divorce where they agree on what property to split and how to arrange custody of the children without much conflict between them.
However, there are also times when a so-called amicable divorce is not really all that friendly and when you may want to consult with a family lawyer to handle your case. Note the following times when a lawyer may be needed for your "amicable" divorce case.
1. When your ex-spouse files a number of motions and other court papers
One thing to remember is that your ex-wife or ex-husband may be telling you that they agree with you on property division and child visitation but is, in truth, having their own attorney file paperwork that says something completely different. You may not read through that paperwork as you should or may not understand its legal wording, so in turn you wind up signing a divorce agreement that is very different than what you expected. If you receive a number of motions, petitions, or any other such court papers from your ex-spouse, talk to a lawyer so you at least understand what they're saying before you sign or agree to anything.
2. If you know your situation will change
Right now you and your spouse may agree on everything when it comes to property, support, and child custody, but what if your situation or their situation changes down the road? You may assume that your agreement will change accordingly, but this isn't always how the law works.
If you know you may lose your job or your ex-spouse will be getting married and shouldn't need monetary support from you, then you may want to talk to a lawyer. He or she will be able to word your agreement in such a way that these changes are incorporated into that agreement, or the agreement might say that it will be revisited and revised if and when these changes happen.
You should also consider this if your monetary or other situations adjust throughout the year; for example, your work might be cyclical, so your support might need to be adjusted accordingly. Your spouse may not agree to simply take less support at that time, and your "amicable" divorce agreement is suddenly very burdensome. Have a family law professional address this type of issue so you and your spouse actually do agree on your final divorce decree.