These days, websites and software programs claim to help people with divorce cases for a fraction of the cost of a lawyer. There are a number of reasons why you should always invest in hiring an actual attorney to handle your divorce proceedings. If you’re in Lansing, Michigan, and going through a divorce, here are the top three reasons why you should hire an attorney:

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1. Your Family

If you have children, you’ll be gambling with your rights as a parent if you don’t hire an attorney. Child support can become very expensive, and custody of your children can be lost if these aspects of your divorce are not handled correctly and exactly as Michigan law requires.

If you’re looking to maintain custody of your children, an attorney will know exactly how to speak to the judge to make sure this is a possibility. A website or computer software will not be able to represent you on this sensitive matter.

If child support is a concern, an attorney will know exactly how to negotiate and bargain with the other party and the court to ensure you’re paying or receiving a fair amount of child support. Messing up this aspect of your divorce can lead to impossibly high payments due or ridiculously low payments received and can put your financial security at risk.

2. Your Possessions

As we’ve seen in cases covered by Slate.com, a lot is at stake in a divorce, including all of your mutual possessions. A lawyer will know how to make sure you keep what is rightfully yours. With proper representation, you are more likely to receive a fair share of the items and assets to which you are legally entitled.  Michigan divorce law is complex when it comes to dividing estates and assets, and the benefits of having an attorney on your side of this negotiation can be the difference between you having a home or needing to find a new one.

3. Your Emotions

Lawyers offer face-to-face consultation. You’ll get to know your lawyer, and your lawyer will get to know you when you work together on a case. In a divorce, there are sensitive emotions at work. What was once love is now a lawsuit. When you hire an attorney, you’ll be able to sit and discuss your wishes and intentions for the divorce, and your lawyer will make sure that these wishes become reality.

For example, if you want to own the entire house for sentimental reasons, your attorney will be able to negotiate this with the opposing side and explain your wishes. Real humans talk better to other real humans than they do to computer software programs or how-to websites.

If you live in Lansing, Michigan and are going through a divorce, don’t risk losing your children or your possessions by going it alone. Contact the law offices of Stu Shafer, divorce attorney, at 517-487-6603 for a case evaluation.

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