You fill out the paperwork, sign your names and start your new life. Few divorces are that easy. In fact, the more shortcuts a person tries to take, the more likely the process will drag on.
In recent years, do-it-yourself divorces and fill-in-the-blank document preparation websites have become a booming business. It makes sense to want to save money, but the truth is that having legal counsel is well worth the investment.
Protecting your interests
A couple married for a short period of time with few accumulated assets and no children may find that divorcing without an attorney makes sense. However, most couples do not fall into that category. If any of these factors play into your divorce, the advice and assistance of a lawyer can prove invaluable:
- Child custody issues
- Child support issues
- Division of substantial assets
- Division of future assets
- Division of debt
While you may think you have everything under control, the fact is that even the most amicable divorce has its share of stress and emotion. Making decisions and dealing with legal matters in a heightened state of emotions could lead to costly mistakes.
Avoiding even the smallest of mistakes
You may be in a position where you are thinking of representing yourself. However, you may want to consider the complicated nature of divorce proceedings and how important it is to be accurate and thorough. This may not be easy to do if you are under pressure or feeling anxiety over the divorce.
In fact, even the smallest mistake on a legal document can leave you with a lifetime of unexpected consequences. For example, if you and your spouse forget to include a credit card when dividing the debts, the settlement may leave you with the responsibility for that bill or paying even more to return to court to correct the oversight.
Seeking your best interests
There is probably a lot going on in your world right now. You may be dealing with confused children, moving out of your home and facing the pressure of well-meaning friends and relatives. Add to this your own emotions, and you probably do not need the stress of a do-it-yourself divorce.
Your attorney will make sure your divorce proceedings go forward smoothly without the delay of paperwork issues caused by a lack of legal knowledge or unintentional oversights. An attorney can also ensure that your wishes are expressed clearly and, if necessary, defended aggressively.