For those who are watching their money, the idea of filing for a divorce without hiring a lawyer can seem appealing. Even if all the circumstances seem to favor it, and your spouse seems to be okay with the idea, there are many reasons to avoid proceeding without legal representation. It's true that you'll spend less money on your divorce this way, but that doesn't mean it won't still cost you a lot more.
Planning for the Worst
Regardless of whether you're on good terms with your spouse or not, it's a lawyer's job to prepare for the worst aspects of human nature when representing a client in a divorce proceeding. As sweet, kind and selfless as your spouse may have been during your marriage, divorce brings out many negative characteristics in most people, so don't get caught off guard. This is especially true if you're petitioning for any kind of support, such as alimony or child support.
While not common, it's not unusual for spouses to hide assets during a divorce proceeding. This is generally frowned upon by the court, but there are some legal loopholes that can be exploited if you're not aware of their existence. Further, if there are children involved, it's important to set up a defense in case your capability as a parent comes under fire. A lawyer can help to defend you against any loopholes or attacks used against you and build up your case.
Paperwork for Days
While it's not often discussed, one of the most critical reasons to have legal representation is their ability to draft and file important court documents. The initial petition for divorce that you'll need to fill out might seem simple, but there is a lot more to deal with in order to finalize your divorce. This is where the legal expertise, experience and support of a law office, such as Myers Law Firm LLC, can have a huge impact.
It's easy to make mistakes if you're not familiar with the requirements on certain documents. Further, it's easy to leave gaping loopholes if you aren't well-versed in legal jargon, so having your divorce documents prepared, filed and finalized by a professional team can ensure that nothing is overlooked. This becomes even more important if your spouse has sought legal representation and you have not, as it leaves you at a disadvantage in court and may give the impression that you aren't taking the matter seriously.
There are a lot of "ifs" involved when thinking about filing for divorce without a lawyer. It can be a good choice if your spouse is completely honest, if you're confident they won't object, if you're sure you can complete paperwork properly, and if your spouse agrees to do the same. These are just a few potential problems that might come up, so at least speak with a divorce lawyer about your case before making your final decision.