Why you probably don’t want DIY divorce

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in family law on Friday, October 2, 2015.

If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, you know money is going to be an issue. Both the cost of filings the divorce paperwork in the courthouse in Columbia and the need to split up your marital assets. Perhaps you figure that if you handle the legal documents and avoid hiring an attorney, you can at least save that cost in the process.

It could work. You will probably read stories on the internet of couples who have divorced successfully and who did all of the work themselves. However, you may want to note if they mention that they had a friend or relative who was a lawyer or if they were also an attorney or had legal training. It is also likely that their divorce was simple and straightforward.

Chances are they had no children and few assets. When there is no child custody or parenting plan to draw up, few dollars in a bank account, no home to sell to satisfy a joint mortgage, little or no retirement or investment accounts, it does make the final terms of a divorce settlement much easier to achieve.

But that situation does not describe the situation of most people in Columbia who seek a divorce. They have children, they have a home with a mortgage, they have cars and other assets and they have debts.

And they may have a decade of emotional baggage, real and imagined slights that have festered and now appear as anger and resentment.

This all makes coming to an agreement that can be reduced to a form document much more difficult.

A divorce attorney won’t make any of that magically go away, but they can help you with the paperwork, ensure your filings are complete and on time, navigate through the morass of legal procedure and help advise you on the types of things that you should include in your property settlement and parenting plan.

Doing it yourself and making a mistake may become a very expensive way to save money.

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