While do-it-yourself projects have become a huge trend on the internet, this does not mean everything in your life should be completed in this manner. The divorce process is no exception. With so much legal advice and content available online, it does seem like doing a divorce yourself could prove feasible; however, finalizing a divorce without proper legal representation could cost you more money in the future. Today, we go over the pitfalls of DIY divorces.
What Are the Pitfalls of a DIY Divorce?
Misunderstanding how to complete the divorce forms
Even if you feel that your divorce will be simple, it is always in your best interest to consult with a divorce lawyer. You may think you understand how to complete your divorce forms, but you could make a mistake which could drag out the divorce process. You could also complete the wrong forms, include incorrect information, or just make a major error that results in your divorce papers being rejected.
You should not rely on the county court clerk for assistance when filing your divorce forms either as they are legally not allowed to give advice that could be construed as legal advice. They will most likely direct you to a lawyer instead. If you had hired a lawyer in the first place, you would not have wasted, time, money, and energy trying to navigate how to complete and file your divorce paperwork. You will also have peace of mind knowing for certain that your divorce paperwork will not be denied by the court.
Not understanding divorce law and how it relates to your circumstances
Unless you have a solid understanding of the divorce laws in your state, you will need legal guidance to ensure your basic rights are protected. Doing so provides you with peace of mind and allows you to determine what a fair settlement would look like. A lawyer can help you understand what you are entitled to in a divorce and assist you with negotiations. Without one, you must determine all this on your own and could settle for less than you deserve. Additionally, you may need to hire a lawyer during a DIY divorce anyway if you find that you need to go to court for a contested divorce.
Failing to negotiate a fair child support agreement
Child support is necessary for your child’s health and wellbeing, which is why it is crucial to obtain a fair child support agreement. An experienced lawyer can help you calculate child support and is familiar with all the factors the judge will use to determine a child support award. If you attempt to calculate child support yourself, you could end up with an award that does not make sense with your situation. A lawyer helps you provide accurate information to make sure your child support order is enough to help you properly provide for your child.
Not considering the consequences of property division
California is a community property state, meaning all community property is divided 50/50. This means all the property you acquired during your marriage is subject to a 50/50 split. You will need to take that into consideration when determining the financial aspects of your divorce and what you are willing to negotiate.
To schedule a time to speak with an experienced divorce attorney at our firm, contact us online or call us via (949) 577-7935.