If you’re getting divorced, chances are good that you want to make the transition as painless as possible and save as much money as you can in the process. Is it possible to avoid hiring an attorney when filing for divorce in Utah? The short answer: no. Well, not if you want things to go smoothly and quickly. Sure, some people try to do everything themselves and have their cases settled out of court. This approach sounds great on paper, but in reality, it usually ends up costing more than if they had just hired a lawyer in the first place. Here are 7 reasons why you need a divorce attorney:

1. Divorce Laws Are Complicated

Legal issues surrounding divorce can be complex, meaning you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Your divorce may turn out differently if you don’t have a solid knowledge of your rights and liabilities or if you make a costly error during or after your separation. For example, how do you know whether alimony payments will be tax-deductible? Have you considered whether your state offers a prenuptial agreement as protection against losing most of your assets in a divorce? With an attorney, you get knowledge and guidance that could save you thousands down the road, or even potentially keep some property out of reach.

2. Attorneys Have a Better Understanding of Different Types of Divorces

There are two types of divorce cases, namely contested and uncontested. A contested divorce is when you can’t agree on all issues about your marriage, like custody of your children, property division, and spousal support. When your divorce is contested, you will have to go to court where a judge will determine what each party gets in a resolution, according to law. This means it’s important that you understand how it works if you want to secure as many rights as possible in a divorce settlement.

Most couples who file for divorce opt for an uncontested or no-fault split instead. Whether you are dealing with a contested or uncontested divorce, you need the legal help of a divorce attorney to guide you and ensure that your rights are protected.

3. Take the Guesswork Out of Filing for Divorce

As you prepare to divorce, it’s important to remember that there are no magic numbers regarding the legal and financial aspects of divorce. Many people automatically assume that they need an attorney and a mediator to get divorced, but these assumptions can often be costly. If you file yourself, you may save money while getting a quicker resolution, but only if you follow state laws regarding filing procedures and forms. Don’t leave your future (and your finances) up in the air – have a local attorney review your paperwork before filing anything with your court.

4. Dividing Assets is Complicated

Many people are stunned when they learn how much their divorce law can cost them. For example, not being aware of your legal rights in a divorce could end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars. To protect yourself from unwittingly handing over money to your spouse and to ensure you get a fair settlement, hire an attorney.

While hiring an attorney isn’t cheap, it’s certainly less expensive than giving up all of your savings or retirement account in divorce court. In short, it’s just plain common sense to hire an attorney if you’re going through a divorce. Having legal representation protects you legally, and that protection could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars over time.

5. Not Understanding Your Rights Can Cost You a Lot

Not knowing your rights for divorce can potentially cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Now, no one expects you to be a professional divorce attorney, but that doesn’t mean you should wing it when it comes to what you can expect in a divorce. A good lawyer will tell you that everything is negotiable and they’re right, although you must keep in mind that there are still limits on what both parties can expect, including child custody and child support. If you need help in knowing what your legal options are, work with a good family law attorney who will go over all your options in detail so you understand them better.

6. The Attorney Will Save You Time

It can take months, or even years, to finalize a divorce in Utah—and that’s if you and your spouse have already worked out the custody, financial, and other important issues. If there are children involved or complex issues to resolve, it could take longer. Having an attorney on your side means that you can go about getting divorced quickly without losing valuable time. That will allow you to move on with your life rather than dwelling in your former marriage indefinitely.

7. Going It Alone is Not an Option

When two people enter into a marriage, they sign up for a lifetime of promises and obligations. When one party decides to exit that marriage, he or she needs to understand that by doing so, there are still legal ramifications to consider.

Many people believe it is easier and less expensive to handle a divorce on their own. Those who attempt self-representation often find themselves wishing they had done things differently once litigation begins. Going it alone is never the best option. Hire an experienced family or divorce attorney to help you navigate through the complexities of a divorce case.

It can be tough to move on after a divorce. Not only do you have to contend with all of your emotions, but you also have to deal with financial issues and other logistics that come along with such a big decision. Whether you are ready or not, hiring an attorney is in your best interest if you want to make things easier for yourself and your family going forward.