Divorce is never a pleasant experience. It leaves both sides emotionally and financially drained, which may take years to heal. Many people want to get it over with as quickly and cheaply as possible, so they consider doing it without consulting a lawyer. But is this really a good idea?
In this article, we’ll discuss the topic in detail to help you go through your divorce in the best possible way.
So, without any further ado, let’s explore the risks of going through a divorce without an attorney.
Is DIY divorce quicker?
Unfortunately, divorce isn’t a quick process. Despite what you may have heard, there’s simply too many legal procedures and paperwork that needs to “go through” before you’re finally out of that marriage. Doing it without a lawyer can possibly slow things even further. Lawyers are experienced negotiators, so they’ll be able to find compromises between the most stubborn of ex-spouses. If you and your ex are not ending things on good terms, you’re probably going to encounter many disagreements pertaining to your divorce settlement.
So, overall, no, DIY divorce is not “fast and easy”. Without an attorney at your side, you’re more likely to get emotional, which can complicate matters even further. Besides, if you fail to fill out the required documentation properly, it’s going to get returned, which can, in turn, prolong the entire process.
Is it cheaper?
Attorneys are expensive: there’s no secret in that. The main reason why people opt for DIY divorces is to try to avoid those pricey lawyer fees. While yes, you can certainly lower the costs of your separation by not getting legal assistance, it’s still not always the best idea. First of all, if the separation ends on terms unfavorable to you, you’re likely going to lose much more than you’d spend on a lawyer in the first place.
Other than that, the longer your legal separation drags on, the pricier it becomes. Your attorney can quicken up the entire process by providing you with proper guidance.
However, we’re aware that not everyone can afford to pay for an attorney. If that’s the case for you, we suggest you look into some pro-bono programs to see whether you’re eligible for something like that. Whatever the case, a legal professional by your side can make a huge difference to the outcome of your divorce, so try everything to get it before going to court.
Do I need a lawyer to get divorced?
No, most countries do not require the presence of a lawyer for divorce cases. You’re not legally required to get an attorney. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire one. As we mentioned above, an experienced legal professional can help you get through the process in a way that will save you time, energy, and money.
You won’t need to deal with seemingly hundreds of forms and applications just to end your marriage. Still, there are a couple of scenarios where going solo is a perfectly viable option. If you and your spouse agree on everything (or at least when it comes to the most important things such as custody), and you’re ending things amicably, then you may not need a lawyer to get things done.
However, these cases are quite a rarity nowadays. Besides, no matter how good the relationship between you and your ex is, both sides can benefit from some professional legal assistance. In this way, you’ll ensure everyone gets what they’re entitled to, and no one gets “ripped off” during the divorce.
Never DIY your divorce if there are anger and resentment involved
If you suspect that your spouse may be transferring joint assets or hiding money, you should never go to court without a lawyer. Proving this in a courtroom is much harder than it seems, and it’s always better to leave it in the hands of professionals.
Other than that, if you feel like your spouse is angry in such a way that they could potentially endanger your children, DIY divorce is simply not an option. Your lawyer will help you find ways to protect your children if there’s any evidence of their endangerment.
Also, if you’re overly hurt or angry over whatever caused your divorce, we suggest you consider hiring a divorce lawyer such as those at Kabir Family Law. Angry people often cannot think clearly enough, so you might regret some of your actions after the separation is finalized.
Depending on the law in your country, you may lose the financial claims against your spouse if you remarry following the divorce. It’s something not everyone is aware of, and it often takes them by surprise.
Your attorney will be able to warn you of these risks and set up your settlement in a way that protects your assets in the future. The laws on remarrying aren’t the only “legal trap” you may encounter as a consequence of your divorce. The law is complicated, so it’s always best to seek assistance from someone who spent years studying it and applying it.
Same-sex marriage can further complicate things
While gay marriage has been legal in many countries for a while now, the laws concerning same-sex couples can be a bit complex. This is mostly because they’re constantly evolving. Keeping track of all of these changes can be quite a daunting task, so it’s always better to at least consult a lawyer in these types of cases.
Overall, if you’re trying to end same-sex marriage, you should hire a legal professional who can assist you through those specific legal difficulties.
The final verdict
DIY-ing your separation should only be done if you’re both satisfied by the terms you both agreed on. In any other situation, DIY-ing the process is simply too risky to be a viable option. Hiring an experienced attorney can help you finalize the process much faster, all while providing you with the outcome you deserve.
Make sure to pick your lawyers carefully, though. They should come from a reputable law company with years of experience in family law to be an effective solution.