Here he goes again…
by Jason Kohlmeyer
I have dealt with this topic before and said that unless you are in a very unique situation you need a divorce lawyer. Yes, yes, I know I am a divorce lawyer, so you may think this is a self-serving statement, but in order to explain why a good divorce lawyer is absolutely essential I want to share a story that occurred recently.
Recently, a man came to my office and retained me to “fix” some problems that had occurred over the past few
years since he was divorced. Now, he was divorced several years ago and had several children and attempted to negotiate custody and parenting time, but he didn’t have a divorce lawyer at the time. As you can imagine he entered into a settlement that was very unfair, specifically concerning custody and parenting time. For example, there was no provision regarding transporting the children (he agreed to do all the driving). If he had an attorney his lawyer would have spotted this issue and more than likely not have permitted the man to agree to this issue. This is just one of the issues that we tried to fix.
Well, as you’ve heard from your grandparents, it’s always easier to do it right the first time and it’s no different in MN divorce court. We filed a motion, with affidavits and after some very intense arguments, the Judge issued his ruling: “You made your bed, now lie in it.” ok, ok, the Judge didn’t actually say that, but what the Judge did do was indicate that all of these issues, while perhaps not the best deal, were agreed to by the man and the Judge was not going to change the agreement absent extraordinary circumstances.
After spending several thousand dollars and months of nasty litigation the man gets…nothing. He was pretty upset, he blamed the system, the Judge, heck even me. But the cold hard reality is that this could have been avoided, nearly every issue he had, if only he had hired a divorce lawyer BEFORE signing the Marital Termination Agreement.
What can you, the Dear Reader, take from this? Well here are the takeaways from this lesson:
- Think long and hard about what you want from the divorce.
- Interview several different Divorce Lawyers to find one that fits.
- Before signing any documents, have your lawyer review them.
There you go, I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, please before you sign any documents, retain a divorce lawyer. The costs may not be as much as you think and just hiring a divorce lawyer does not mean you must engage in World War III with your spouse.
Law Office, Chtd.
Jason Kohlmeyer is a divorce lawyer in Mankato, Minnesota who has seen far too many people NOT hire a divorce lawyer because they believe they can fill the forms out as well as any darn lawyer can!