A DIY divorce involves a couple splitting with no legal representation and not having any of the arrangements decided by a judge. For couples on a minimum budget this may seem like a good idea, but can it ever work?
In theory, a DIY divorce is a simple process, couples can go to court, download the required forms, fill them in and present them to the judge to seal. On the upside couples maintain complete control their arrangements and they only have to pay the minimum court fees in order to settle.
However, there are a lot of cons that come along with a DIY divorce.
For starters, filling in the forms is extremely complex. If you have no legal training then you will struggle to fill the forms in a way that will be expected by a judge. For this, many couples end up seeking the help of a divorce lawyer to ensure that they have filled in everything correctly.
Divorce is not an easy process. No two couples are the same and no two divorce settlements are the same. Understanding what you are entitled to out of the divorce settlement requires a lot of training and experience.
Saving money with a DIY divorce may seem like a good idea in the short term, if you are short of cash. However, it could be disastrous in the long term as you find your self struggling for money and not receiving the maintenance that you are entitled to, or paying too much maintenance for too long. This is one of the main cons of tackling a divorce without legal guidance.
Legal help greatly reduces the risk of one party being coerced or bullied into agreeing to something that they are not happy with. A mediators and judges work to provide the best outcome for both parties. Divorce lawyers will stand up for the interests of one party and guide them through the process and give them the strength needed to get the best outcome from the divorce settlement.
If you start the process of a DIY divorce and find that you are agreeing to things that are not fair, or that you are being bullied in anyway then you must seek experienced legal guidance.
For couples that are both amicable, financially independent, childless and have very simple financial arrangements a DIY divorce may work, but for most couples it is better to invest in legal help and get a good long term agreement.