Although it is not required that a divorcing spouse be represented by an attorney in divorce proceedings, it is very much recommended. Individuals who proceed with settlement negotiations without the advice of an attorney may later regret decisions they have made once it is too late. Signing a marital settlement agreement without the advice of an attorney can put the party in a disadvantage by not understanding the law, or the ramifications of making certain agreements. Once signed by both parties, it is very difficult to challenge the enforceability of the agreement. If the divorce case is contested, and being resolved through litigation, an attorney is essential to navigating a complicated process and courtroom rules.