Arizona residents who are going through a divorce might think it will be faster and cheaper if they do not hire a lawyer, but this may not always be the case. Failing to hire a lawyer might be more expensive in the long run if an individual makes poor decisions due to the stress of the situation.
People also may have a disadvantage during litigation because they will still be expected to have a full legal understanding of the situation. Even attorneys tend to hire lawyers themselves for divorce unless they have a lot of family law experience. A judge may become impatient with a party who is unfamiliar with the law or who has prepared documentation incorrectly. That documentation can be challenging to put together, and another advantage of an attorney is assistance with tedious paperwork. Furthermore, an attorney might be aware of legal options and potential compromises that a spouse who is unfamiliar with family law does not know about.
An attorney can also help a client who is divorcing keep priorities straight. Estranged spouses might become overly focused on getting revenge, choose their battles poorly or concede things they should not because they feel guilty about the divorce or want to avoid conflict. An attorney might help a client focus on the most important points.
An attorney may be helpful even where the divorce is amicable. In many cases, property division can prove to be a contentious issue, and an attorney can provide assistance to a divorcing spouse by first identifying all assets that can be classified as community property and then in negotiating an acceptable settlement agreement.