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An attorney is needed even in amicable divorces

Readers may agree that an amicable divorce may spare both members of a divorcing couple from needless heartache. Where children are concerned, a professional approach may also make the transition easier for them.

However, a recent article reminds us that even spouses who are divorcing with minimal contention should still seek the representation of a skilled divorce attorney. For example, in the case of coming up with a parenting plan, an attorney can spot issues that might otherwise go unaddressed. For example, parents may understand that they need to agree upon a schedule of which parent will be responsible for daily child-rearing tasks.

However, when unexpected issues arise, divorced parents can benefit from an existing protocol. An attorney can help to create this type of contingency plan. An attorney can also counsel parents about the level of specificity that they will need to include in their parenting plan.

An attorney can provide similar expertise for unexpected issues in property division, as well. For example, the big items are usually addressed first by a divorcing couple, such as which spouse will get the house. However, other types of assets and property can be easily overlooked. In the case of retirement accounts, those should be updated to reflect the intended beneficiary, as that contractual designation often trumps contrary provisions in a divorce decree.

Even if spouses are able to draw up preliminary agreements on issues of support, child custody and property division, an attorney can lend his or her experienced eye to those preliminary plans. An attorney can work to ensure that all applicable forms are filed and the important issues have been addressed.

Source: Huffington Post, "The One Thing Marriage and Divorce Should Share," Michelle Crosby, Aug. 19, 2014

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