Why DIY Divorce Is A Bad Idea

With so much access to information online, it seems easy enough to file a divorce and represent yourself in court. While online DIY might work for learning a hobby, handling your own legal matters can end in serious consequences.

Regardless if a couple is in agreement over everything or completely the opposite, the divorce process can be complicated and by failing to adhere to court procedures you can risk your property and custody rights.

Is a Lawyer Required for a Divorce?

It is not legally required for you to have a lawyer when filing for divorce, but depending on certain factors like property ownership or child custody, it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney to aid in the process. An attorney will have experience and knowledge of the law to help better your position and are well versed with court proceedings to help your divorce be successful and peaceful.

DIY Divorce Dangers

When filing for divorce, it’s understandable that most want the process over with as quickly as possible. Forgoing the help of an attorney sounds like it could help you save time or money, but you can end up doing the opposite and put yourself in a worse position.

Financial Risks

When hastily agreeing to divorce terms in order to speed up the process, one might wind up choosing things that are not in their best interest. It’s crucial to not make any mistakes when it comes to important court documents, and not following the correct procedures can result in significant or unfair financial losses, a longer drawn out battle in court, and having to re-file everything with the help of an attorney later.

Issues to be dealt with during a divorce include shared property or debts, bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, and spousal support or alimony.

Child Custody and Support Risks

Without the help of an attorney, even if you do see eye to eye with your former spouse, you can be at risk of court orders that you don’t agree with. You can have previous agreements or be on the same page regarding important matters, but emotions and opinions can alter when it comes to actually filing your paperwork.

There are different child support and custody issues like equitable time with each parent, childcare expenses, educational or extracurricular necessities, special or medical needs of the child or the parent, where the children and parents will both live, and how work schedules can impact visitations. When you work with a lawyer, you can successfully come up with a plan that outlines custody, visitations, and other support agreements that will work for everyone involved.

Lack of Advice and Knowledge

Handling your own divorce means you may miss out on vital advice from someone who has legal authority and understands divorce cases thoroughly. Every divorce has different situations, and experienced divorce attorneys will be able to tackle anything from property distribution to child support with past experience and understanding of the law in your state. Missing deadlines, failing to agree about certain items, incorrectly filling out forms, or not providing the required documents can end up impacting your divorce and create more issues for you.

Additional Stress

It can offer you some peace of mind while you’re already going through such a difficult situation to have a trusted attorney working on your case. When treading in unfamiliar territory while already in a heightened emotional or stressed state, you are much more prone to accidents that could have been avoided if your case was in the hands of a lawyer.

Hidden Assets and Dissipation of Assets

In California, it is required by law that all income earned and debts acquired during the marriage is to be split 50/50 regardless of how it was earned, who earned it, or whether one spouse had much greater earnings during the marriage than the other.

When a marriage is ended with bitterness and resentment, it is often that a spouse believes they are entitled to more of the marital income and property than the ex spouse, leading them to attempt hiding assets or income from the court.

A lawyer has the resources to help you investigate hidden assets and understand how to use the law for a better advantage and hold your ex spouse accountable if this happens.

Protect Yourself in Divorce with the Right Lawyer

Finding a lawyer when going through such a difficult process can feel intimidating. At Azemika Law, we’re here to represent you with our practice that has been devoted to family law for 28 years. We handle all types of cases involving divorce, dissolutions of partnerships, child custody, abandonment, and adoptions.

Serving all of Kern County, we are here to help you make informed decisions to provide an easier transition and successful outcome with your divorce case. 
Don’t take the risk with a DIY divorce, contact us to find the right experienced lawyer for you to make sure you feel confident and supported throughout your divorce process.

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