In my many years of practice I have met various people who have come to
me after signing legal documents before they consulted with an attorney.
In every one of those cases I have had the unpleasant task to inform the
individual the consequences of what they signed and that it cannot be
By way of example an individual can sign a divorce agreement prepared by
one attorney. However, that attorney, unless they are acting in a capacity
of a mediator, is representing one person only. As such, that attorney
is representing the interests of their client only and those interests
are generally not the same as the unrepresented party. Without proper
knowledge of the law an individual could inadvertently sign paperwork
whereby they waive maintenance/spousal support or child support they would
have otherwise been entitled to under the law.
At the very least seek the assistance of an attorney to review the documents
you are about to sign. A review attorney will be able to give you guidance
regarding the law and inform you of the consequences of what you are signing.
Furthermore, this is often a much less expensive way to proceed than hiring
an attorney to represent you for an entire matter, and is substantially
cheaper than entering into an agreement or contact that could have an
individual paying more money or services than the law would otherwise
The most important thing to always remember is that knowledge is your power
to protect yourself and an attorney can provide the knowledge you need
to make appropriate decisions that will enable you to protect yourself.