There are numerous justifications people have for trying to divorce themselves either by utilizing forms they find online or by using paralegal paper preparation companies. The do it yourself divorce is generally a terrible idea. Unless you have no children, no debts, no assets, neither of you have health insurance, there are no issues regarding spousal support, child support, child custody, visitation, no issues concerning social security benefits, Medicare benefits, or numerous other issues, you should hire an attorney to represent you, protect your rights, and see to it that you don’t end up creating more problems than you resolve by trying to represent yourself in a divorce.
Divorces Can Be Expensive
Contested divorces can be expensive. There are numerous bread and butter issues which have to be dealt with in divorces: such as who gets custody of the children; who gets visitation and when does the visitation take place. Divorces are generally not simple. If they were not complicated and difficult to resolve in an appropriate manner, there would be very few divorce lawyers, no need for divorce courts, and very few family court judges. This is simply not the case. It would be a mistake to represent yourself in a commercial lawsuit, a criminal trial, a car accident case, and also to either represent yourself or try to do a do it yourself divorce.
The following are a list of reasons and problems that should be considered before trying to divorce yourself:
- There are different rules and requirements in each and every state concerning divorce. Even within the State of New York, different counties handle the divorce process differently.
- Issues involving division of property in a divorce can be final. Once the parties to the divorce agree on the equitable distribution of their assets and a final agreement is signed concerning those assets, it is very difficult to set those agreements aside, change or modify them.
- The divorce process can be painstaking, drawn out and emotionally draining. It is said that those people who represent themselves have a fool for a lawyer. You need someone to stand back and look at what is taking place in your divorce and provide you with independent, reasonable, expert judgment concerning financial issues and custody issues.
- Unless you and your spouse are in agreement on all things, it is extremely difficult to negotiate a settlement between the two of you. When negotiations breakdown there is no one to intercede and no one to talk to.
- If you represent yourself and you do not have professional advice, you may make a mistake and waive very important rights to raise your children, to receive child support, receive spousal maintenance, or have visitation with your children.
- You may leave out important items from a divorce settlement. These items may include, who pays for college? Who maintains the medical insurance? Who covers dental and orthodontia work? Who pays for the babysitter watching the child while you go to work? Who pays for summer camp or someone to watch the children during the summers? These are just a few of the items you could leave out of a divorce settlement agreement.
Get Your Divorce Right the First Time
The divorce may not cost you as much as you think. If your divorce is not particularly complicated, you may be able to work out a set fee arrangement with an attorney. It is always less expensive to get it right the first time, than to try to straighten out a divorce that was improperly worked out to begin with.