The Dangers of the DIY Divorce

There has been an noticeable increase in “do-it-yourself” legal form sites that claim to enable individuals to easily handle their legal matters and side-step the costs of hiring an attorney. While DIY divorce kits seem like a a fast, inexpensive alternative to hiring a divorce attorney, many individuals who have endeavored to take this cost-savings plan have ended up paying for more than what they bargained for. At The Yeatts Law Firm, we have seen the dangers of do-it-yourself divorce firsthand. Often times, individuals who were trying to save money end up spending more on hiring an attorney to fix their errors. Unfortunately, fixing these errors ends up costing them more than had they hired an attorney to begin with.

You will be held to the same standard as an attorney 

Alabama courts are required to hold pro se litigants (individuals representing themselves) to the same standards as attorneys. You will be required to know and understand the law, whether or not you actually do. Many individuals who attempt a DIY divorce make mistakes in filing the required court documents and fail to meet filing dates, resulting in lengthy delays and increased costs. During the divorce process, individuals may run into specialized court requirements such as a demand for proper presentation of evidence without the knowledge required to properly present such evidence. Even after the divorce is granted, many individuals may have consented to court orders on critical issues such as child support, spousal support and property division without fully understanding the longterm legal and financial implications. Failure to account for tax consequences of key financial decisions will lead to unexpected costs. Once a final divorce decree has been issued, it can be more difficult and more expensive to later modify the original decree.

Hiring a divorce attorney has its advantages 

In Alabama and in most states, marriage is a powerful legal institution. It is not easily dissolved and as illustrated above, a divorce decree can have important and far reaching consequences. It is important to make the initial investment in an experienced family law / divorce attorney who can assist you with the divorce process. The most obvious benefit of hiring a divorce attorney is that a divorce attorney will have a better understanding of the law, loopholes and procedures that will make a major difference in your case. Your divorce attorney can make sure that all your papers are presented in a proper manner and that they are in accordance with the relevant laws and statutes. Furthermore, because your divorce attorney does not necessarily have an emotional stake in the litigation, he/she is able to evaluate your case more objectively and with a clear head. When it comes to cases like divorce and child custody, emotions and stress can run high. You judgment will be clouded. An experienced divorce attorney can not only provide you with legal assistance, but also can provide the emotional and moral stability you need.

For more information regarding the Alabama divorce process, contact The Yeatts Law Firm today.