Ten Best Reasons Not to Choose a Do-It-Yourself Divorce

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

The decision to end your marriage is seldom an easy one to make. Unfortunately, the divorce process itself can be intimidating and overwhelming. The uncertainty surrounding a future without your spouse can also seem frightening. Some married couples benefit from a quick and simple do-it-yourself style divorce. However, others find comfort in knowing that an experienced attorney is on their side giving them guidance and advice. Here are the ten best reasons not to choose a do-it-yourself divorce so you can gauge what might best fit your situation.

  1. Divorce law can be really confusing. Divorce law is not always cut and dry. The question of who gets what could become hard to answer and can necessitate sifting through legalese and complex financial documents. If you have children, you’ll also have to understand the laws surrounding custody and support. Similarly, the divorce laws in your current state may be different from where you got married. This could affect where you get divorced and which court has jurisdiction over your case.
  2. Emotions may cloud your judgment. For most married couples, divorce carries a huge emotional component. Old feelings sometimes die hard. So, if you navigate your divorce based on those emotions, you might put yourself at a serious disadvantage. You might agree to things that do not benefit you. An emotionally detached attorney can give you sound advice meant only for you, which can be invaluable during this time.
  3. You may lose property or money that you are legally entitled to. By not being fully familiar with your rights in a divorce, you might simply not know that you are entitled to support or a fair division of property. Starting your new life without what you are legally entitled to may cost you more than your attorney’s fee.
  4. The divorce process may end up taking longer. In a perfect world, both you and your spouse will agree, and your divorce will be granted quickly. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. If either side decides to make the divorce process contentious, it may drag out longer than either party intended.
  5. Not having a mediator. Connected to the previous reason, not having a mediator to work through disagreements may end up costing you more time and money. Divorces are not always amicable, and if disputes arise, you may wish to have someone there to mediate them.
  6. The court may not approve your divorce. Usually, the final step in a divorce is the divorce decree. A judge must sign your divorce decree, but he/she does not have to agree with it. It is common for a judge to reject proposed agreements if those agreements do not conform to legal standards. Without an attorney helping you draft your agreement, a judge may end up throwing it out, and you will have to start all over.
  7. Increased stress. Not having a professional on your side handling the day-to-day minutiae may cause you to excessively worry about your case. Peace of mind can be invaluable during this trying time.
  8. Your divorce may be complicated. If you have children or substantial assets, your divorce might be too complex to handle without the help of an attorney. Agreeing to a proposal that causes you to lose custody rights or to give up property that you are entitled to can have a devastating impact on your ability to move on from your marriage.
  9. Your spouse may not fight fair. As much as you may believe that you know your spouse, divorce tends to bring out the worst in some people. This is especially true of a spouse who is seeking revenge through the divorce because you wronged them. Without an attorney looking out for your interests, you may be vulnerable to vindictive attacks.
  10. You are not a lawyer. Both marriage and divorce are legal institutions controlled by the law. If you have assets or children who you would like to protect, only a lawyer will be able to adequately represent you through this process to fully protect your interests. Family law attorneys who often handle divorce cases are not only knowledgeable about the process, but they also know how to avoid pitfalls and wrap up your divorce as soon as possible without sacrificing quality of work.

Regardless of what your ultimate goal is, speaking with an attorney to learn more about divorce can go a long way. Discussing with an attorney your goals and concerns will enable you to make an informed decision that is best for you and your family. Backed by more than 40 years of experience, Naidu Law is a top family law firm that has meaningfully helped clients from all walks of life regarding divorce, child custody, child support, and more. Naidu Law strives to obtain the best results for its clients and to provide quality services at a reasonable cost. Consult with the knowledgeable family law attorneys at Naidu Law by calling (405) 792-2400 or by contacting us online.