Divorce can be an emotional rollercoaster. It can also be expensive. So it's no surprise that many couples turn to online resources to save time and money by filing for a DIY divorce.
But is this really the best option? Not always. This article discusses the real dangers of DIY divorce and why you should proceed with caution if you are considering this route.
Legal Expertise Is Necessary for Proper Documentation
Divorces process differently in different states, so you should make sure that you are filing all the proper documents with the right court and local jurisdiction. If not, your entire case could end up being rejected by the court — costing you even more money and causing delays in your case.
Furthermore, certain situations may require additional paperwork (such as a pre-nuptial agreement or division of assets) that should be properly filled out for them to be legally binding. Without legal expertise, it can be difficult to know what documents need to be filed, let alone how they need to be filled out correctly and completely.
DIY Does Not Include Legal Representation
The most significant danger of going through with a DIY divorce is that there is no legal representation involved in the proceedings. This means that if any issues arise during or after the finalization of your divorce, there will not be anyone to represent your interests in court or help resolve any disputes between you and your ex-spouse.
Additionally, without legal counsel present during negotiations, there could potentially be an imbalance of power when it comes to asset division or spousal support agreements — which could leave one party feeling taken advantage of or financially strapped down the line.
And finally, as filing for a divorce can be complex, you need to understand the nuances of the law and how it applies to your specific situation.
For instance, if you decide to represent yourself, you need to understand the relevant statutes, be able to make arguments in court, and respond to any counterarguments. Without legal expertise, it can be difficult to do any of these things and could put you at a disadvantage when going up against a trained lawyer.
Taking on a DIY divorce might seem like a great way to save time and money. Still, you need to understand all the risks that come along with handling your own paperwork instead of enlisting professional legal help from an experienced attorney who specializes in family law matters like divorce proceedings. Although getting divorced professionally can be expensive up front, it ultimately can be quite the bargain if it helps you avoid costly mistakes.
Contact a bankruptcy lawyer near you to learn more.