Ten Reasons to Never Do a DIY Divorce
A DIY divorce always seems like the right way to go. After all, you can omit attorney fees and not worry about battling it out in court. However, there are ten reasons to never do a DIY divorce – no matter how much you think it might save you.
Ten Reasons Why a DIY Divorce Could Leave You Worse Off
Hiring a divorce attorney is the best way to ensure you receive a fair divorce settlement, but also that all aspects are covered – including child support and legal decision-making authority.
1. Courtrooms Have Procedures
Judges hold self-represented parties to the same standard of an attorney as far as following courtroom procedure, disclosure requirements, and pleading filing standards. Claiming ignorance will not guarantee forgiveness for failing to abide by these rules and there could be serious consequences for not doing so.
2. Motions are Critical
Your case may require more than the standard process for finalizing the case. Your matter may require certain pretrial motions or temporary orders to be filed which can be complex.
3. Asset Division
Asset division is often more than splitting everything down the middle. You must know the statutes regarding is the characterization of an asset, how it is divided, and what to do when they are contested.
4. Liability Division
You must divide all marital debts, which is a contested area where you might get stuck will bills that were never yours.
5. Emotional Strain
The entire DIY process can lead to severe emotional distress. Divorce is stressful enough, but learning the complexities of the law does not help.
Numerous mistakes happen with DIY divorces. Not only could you agree to something that is not in your favor, but once it is finalized, it is very hard to change later. Omitted provisions or failing to consider the “what ifs” could result in expensive problems down the road.
7. Legal Rights
Whether you are the petitioner or respondent, husband or wife, mother or father, you have legal rights. An attorney can help identify and protect those rights during your divorce.
If you do not perform the required tasks as provided by law, the judge might deny your divorce entirely – forcing you to start the process over.
To correct mistakes, you might end up paying for a lawyer regardless. Sometimes the court will order you to pay for your spouse’s attorney, even if you did not have one.
10. Parenting Time
Finding a proper parenting time schedule is not easy. If you cannot agree on parenting time with your children, you need an attorney that understands how to apply the statute using the facts and circumstances unique to your case.
Bottom Line: Divorce Attorneys are Better than DIY
While you might save money, you will cost yourself much more than you realize with a DIY divorce. Let Udall Shumway, PLC help you with your divorce, custody, and child support.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding DIY Divorce, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Sheri D. Shepard at 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.