The Pitfalls Of Do-It-Yourself Divorce
Divorce can seem like an oppressively complicated event, and it’s not surprising people want to find any shortcuts they can to make the process “easier.” One of the most common ways people try to simplify their divorce is through online services. They promise low cost, ease, and a way to avoid the embarrassment many people feel when talking to an attorney. It might sound great, but do-it-yourself divorces often lead to legal quagmires and can hurt you and your ex for years to come.
Handling Your Assets
The most common issue for any divorce is the dividing of assets. Do you and your spouse know what constitutes marital and non-marital assets in Georgia? Do you know the value of those items? What about how the state would divide those assets in a traditional divorce? Once the court has signed off on the divorce, the division agreed to when filing cannot be changed or revoked. Attorneys spend years learning how divorce works, and can help prevent a wide disparity in asset division, and help mitigate any future regret.
What Are The Laws You’re Facing
Another hurdle with DIY divorce is knowing all the state and local laws and procedures. Divorce laws can vary wildly, including from county to county. When you represent yourself, a judge will expect you to know the rules and procedures of the court. They will not hold your hand through the experience. You will need to follow the same rules as an attorney, and not having enough knowledge will likely lead to an agreement that isn’t satisfactory to either party.
What Is The Real Cost
The biggest appeal of handling a divorce by yourself is the cost. Not hiring counsel is certainly going to save you money up front, but after the divorce, you often spend far more. There are numerous crucial issues that are either unknown or require significant legal experience to navigate. This is even more dangerous when one party is represented by an attorney and the other is not. Professional counsel always has their client’s best interest in mind, leaving you battling alone against a professional. The division of assets, the potential alimony agreements, and child custody agreements need a keen legal eye to assure you are getting the best possible resolution. The long-term financial pain from representing yourself is going to outweigh any costs associated with hiring an attorney.
If you’re facing divorce, you should always consult an attorney to understand your needs and the challenges you will encounter.
At Andersen, Tate & Carr, our attorneys are dedicated to reaching the best possible outcome for our clients. Our criminal defense attorneys, Patrick McDonough and Trinity Hundredmark, have combined experience of more than 30 years representing clients facing criminal charges in Georgia. For more information, or to request a case evaluation, contact our law office at 1-770-822-0900.