Handling Your Divorce Yourself Comes with Risks
Divorce can be an expensive and drawn-out process, and many spouses are desperate to find a way to minimize the costs associated with a split. Some believe that, by filing for divorce without a lawyer, they can save hundreds of dollars and expedite the process of finalizing their divorce. While a DIY divorce may work well for some couples, the process is fraught with potential pitfalls. These errors could end up costing you far more to address than you would’ve originally spent on an experienced and qualified divorce attorney. Read on to learn more about the risks of filing for divorce without a lawyer, and contact a knowledgeable Alabama family law attorney with any additional questions.
Completing divorce paperwork correctly isn’t always straightforward
When filing for divorce, you’ll need to complete court forms that will require you to disclose all your property, debts, tax returns, and other detailed information about your financial status. The court uses these forms to determine an equitable property sharing arrangement. If you were to forget (or deliberately exclude) certain property, you could end up in trouble with the court for concealing assets down the road.
Reaching a fair settlement and custody-sharing agreement isn’t always easy
Perhaps you’ve considered a self-filed divorce because you and your spouse are on relatively good terms. You may feel like involving lawyers will only sour an amicable breakup, making a division of property and child custody more contentious than it needs to be. Reaching a division that is fair to both parties can be challenging and often starts fights between spouses who had previously gotten along. Having a third party involved who can mediate between you and your spouse, and who comes ready with decades of experience in finding equitable solutions in a divorce, can make the process of reaching a settlement smoother than it would be otherwise.
Other options for saving money may be available
It’s true that the time and costs involved in holding a courtroom trial can be great. However, handling your divorce without legal help is not your only option for saving money when getting a divorce. Couples are increasingly opting to resolve their divorces by using a private mediator. Mediation is much faster than holding a courtroom trial, which will also reduce your attorneys’ fees. The mediation process is also customizable, allowing you to hold less formal proceedings that can feel less combative than a courtroom divorce.
If you’re considering filing for divorce in Alabama, rely on the experience and legal knowledge of a skilled attorney to ensure you receive a fair outcome, and contact the Guntersville law offices of the Hawkins Law Firm for a consultation, at 256-502-4444.