Those Times in Your Life When You Might Need a Lawyer
Here’s the thing about lawyers: You never really think you’re going to need one. And to be fair, it’s likely that you could go your entire life without needing a lawyer, just like (in theory) you could go your entire life without needing a doctor.
But for most people, there are going to be times and moments when you might need a lawyer—when it’s far, far better to have one than not. We’re not necessarily talking about the obvious. (Although it’s true—if you find yourself charged with criminal activity, you’re going to want a lawyer.)
But here are five times in your life when you might need a lawyer. These are common enough occurrences—so common that you think it might be okay to wing it. However, the best way to proceed is, well, to lawyer up!
#1: Getting a Divorce
You will likely have to go to court to get any kind of divorce finalized; and any time you go to court, it’s a good idea to seek the help of a highly qualified attorney. After all, the decisions made during a divorce can affect you for the rest of your life.
And let’s be real: divorce proceedings are usually quite emotional (it’s the rare couple that goes through the calm and composed divorce proceeding). And the longer you’ve been married, the harder it will be to detangle your lives. A divorce attorney is typically there to help guide you through the process.
Additionally, divorce attorneys are pretty good at representing your interests, which you’re definitely going to want through a divorce proceeding—no matter how messy or clean it might be.
#2: Starting a Business
Whenever you start a new business, there’s going to be plenty of paperwork. And you might think, “hey, it’s just me, why would I need a lawyer?” The simple answer is: to protect yourself.
Anyone who runs a business probably already knows that businesses tend to run on contracts. You’ve got contracts with employees and contracts with vendors and contracts with customers and clients. Sure, many of those contracts are pretty boilerplate.
But having a great contract can help protect you from the unforeseen and unexpected. For most businesses—new and old—having a lawyer on hand is vital.
#3: During End of Life Planning
Okay, that sounds really morbid. And it kind of is. But the truth of the matter is that we all have to prepare for that time in our lives when we’re on the wane. And part of that preparation means drafting up a will and some medical directives.
After all, most people have some pretty specific wishes about what should happen when they’re on the way out. Getting those wishes legally documented is a must if you actually want those wishes to be carried out.
I know it’s not an easy topic to bring up—and it’s something nobody necessarily likes to bring up. But it’s an important thing to get taken care of. Trust me, most people talk about peace of mind once it’s all said and done.
#4: Dire Financial Straights
When you have money trouble, you’re not always looking to spend more money on anything. So it seems counterintuitive to spend money on an attorney. But that’s precisely the kind of thing that could help you out (depending on the attorney you hire).
When you’re in the worst possible financial trouble, you might be considering bankruptcy. This is actually relatively common, whether caused by medical issues or a job change. Bankruptcy is a way of discharging your debt without having to pay most of it (your credit takes a hit).
But it’s a complicated process and one you want to make sure you get right. Hence, you’re going to need an attorney.
#5: Adopting a Child
Not everyone chooses to adopt. But it’s common enough that you might find yourself wishing to expand your family (without the joy of child birth). It’s one of those things that, for the future of your children, you want to make sure is done right.
Adopting the right way will probably involve hiring a lawyer. And if it helps to ensure that your child has a safe, stable, and reliable upbringing that’s probably a good thing.
Representation is Your Friend
There are many people out there who see a sort of stigma when it comes to legal representation: like, you only get a lawyer if you’re guilty. But that’s not the reality. As we’ve (hopefully) learned today, seeking out the services of an attorney is simply a way to protect yourself in a fairly complicated—and often overly legal—world.
And you never know when you’ll need that protection.