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Do I need a lawyer for my spousal support hearing?

The law does not require you to have a lawyer for a spousal support matter. Some divorcing spouses, citing expense, consider going without a lawyer. Other divorcing spouses believe that a lawyer only serves to escalate the ongoing hostilities that are present in such an emotional decision as a divorce and the spousal support issues at hand.

Lawyers, however, do a better job of handling these matters. They are familiar with the law and the rules of procedure. They may "know the judge," that is, they are familiar with the judge and his or her rulings and know the best approach to be taken. They are also able to shield their client from his or her own anger in the proceedings. In this way, lawyers often serve to prevent the escalation of hostilities.

In addition, spousal support can become extremely complicated, since it can involve the entire financial history and status of a marriage, which is a complex institution indeed. Lawyers are better equipped to handle such matters and have additional resources that can be brought to bear.

Anytime the decisions and repercussions of divorce or separation may influence the financial future of either spouse, it is highly suggested that each spouse hires his or her own attorney to represent them.