According to the U.S. Census, around 41% of marriages end in divorce.
But despite the prevalence of divorce cases, each situation is unique and often difficult to navigate.
Doing a DIY divorce may seem like the way to save some money and reduce stress. But there are some very important reasons that you shouldn’t divorce without a lawyer.
Let’s explore 8 of them.
You Don’t Know the Laws
That’s not an insult. What you don’t know regarding divorce law can really hurt you.
Your friend who went through a divorce might give you advice. You might do some extensive research on the Internet.
But this isn’t a substitute for legal advice. Laws change. Something very small could make or break your case.
Divorce without a lawyer is like having surgery without a doctor. It’s just not in your best interest to try to tackle this alone.
You Despise Paperwork
Getting a divorce without a lawyer means you get to do all the paperwork. And it can feel like Mt. Everest sometimes.
You’ll need to read and understand some very complex agreements before signing. Some of it takes meticulous review and response. There will be tasks to complete before you ever see a judge.
Paperwork is just part of the deal. We don’t like it either. But we do it because we want the best outcomes for our clients.
You Don’t Like Disorganization
You may be great at real estate, healthcare, teaching, roofing or whatever your profession is. But trying to do something that you’ve never done before can create a lot of extra work for yourself.
You’ll be trying to learn new things. At the same time, you’re expected to put them into practice.
But you don’t have to go through a divorce without a lawyer. A lawyer will simplify the process, reducing stress on you, your children and everyone involved.
What Seems Equal May Not Always Be Equal
You want a very amicable divorce. We commend you for trying to work things out in an agreeable way. What may seem to be a 50/50 split at first glance, may put you at a great disadvantage financially later.
A few years after a divorce without a lawyer, this may be very clear to you. But at that point, it’s already done.
A lawyer will factor in everything. They’ll run the numbers. And they consider the less obvious but important variables. They then work to reach a fair division based upon the circumstances of the individual case.
Divorce Can Be an Emotional Roller Coaster
A lawyer isn’t a replacement for a therapist. But they can help you through the emotional ups and downs.
Some divorces can inflict a lot of trauma on a person. Anger, shame, resentment, sadness, jealousy; we’ve seen it all.
A lawyer will help you manage this emotional battery by giving you the confidence you need to get through the tough times.
You Want What’s Best for Your Children
Children can be severely traumatized by divorce cases.
Children of divorce are more likely to:
- Get lower grades
- Suffer from health conditions
- Attempt suicide
- Have lower paying jobs
- Have psychological problems
Much of this is the result of messy divorce battles that place children in a tug-o-war.
One parent may try to get full custody while the other feels that he/she has no recourse. Children might be asked to testify.
Barring some severe extenuating circumstances, you have a right be in your children’s lives. If you need to take on most or all of the responsibility for some reason, you have a right to be appropriately compensated by the other parent.
Children should be protected as much as possible during a divorce to reduce this trauma.
A divorce lawyer will help you evaluate the situation and make your case in order to improve the outcome for your children.
You Need to Present Your Case in the Best Light
We’ve all done things that we’re not proud of. We’ve hurt people. Or didn’t do something we know we should have done. We all have things we wish we’d done better.
It doesn’t mean we’re bad people or that we should lose everything because of a mistake.
That’s why regardless of what you may have done or not done, it needs to be put into perspective.
The court system can be ruthless. A lawyer on the other side can take something small and blow it out of proportion.
Because of guilt that you do feel, it may be hard to defend yourself against these coordinated attacks when you go through a divorce without a lawyer.
Your lawyer will be objective about the facts. He/she’ll find a way to show you in the best light. They’ll help you stand up to people who try to tarnish your reputation and make mountains out of molehills.
You Might Not Have to Go to Court at All
A divorce without a lawyer almost always ends up in court. That’s where most of the stress on you and your children happens.
Costs can skyrocket.
But a great lawyer will always try to settle out of court when it’s in your best interest. Chances are you’re not trying to take your spouse to the cleaners. You don’t want to hurt them, yourself or your children.
A lawyer will work with your spouse’s lawyer, discuss concerns and demands and try to reach a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Divorce Without a Lawyer
If you’re considering a divorce without a lawyer, it may be time to reconsider. A divorce requires a person to the law and fill out a lot of paperwork. It can be hard to figure out what’s fair and children often get caught in the middle.
But a divorce lawyer can help guide you through the process, perhaps even keeping you and your children out of court. They will be a trusted resource who’s working for you to achieve the best outcome.
Still not sure? We can help. Call for a free telephone consultation.