As you head into your divorce, you may think to yourself, ‘Why should
I pay someone to help me with all of this paperwork when I can save myself
a few dollars and do it myself?’ Couples who maintain an amicable
relationship are even more likely to consider this option, believing that
the process will be smooth enough that they won’t require legal
assistance. However, complications still tend to come up in even the most
cordial of situations, and having experienced legal counsel ready to help
can make everything much easier to manage.
Representing yourself during your divorce, also referred to as ‘pro
se’ divorce, comes with its own set of pros and cons which you should
be aware of before making a final decision.
Handling the divorce yourself, especially when it’s uncontested,
may very well end up being the best decision for both you and your soon
to be ex-spouse. Some of the greatest benefits include:
Eased Tensions: One of the biggest worries some couples have about hiring a lawyer is
the strain it may put on their relationship. In a pro se divorce, you
and your spouse can speak directly with each other, rather than through
legal counsel. If you and your soon to be ex-spouse can behave fairly
and rationally throughout the entire process, it may allow you to secure
a fast and mutually beneficial outcome for all parties involved.
Save Money: Attorneys make divorce proceedings far easier to manage, but just like
any other professional, their services require payment. When finances
are an issue, representing yourself could save you quite a bit of money.
Emotions: No matter how you feel at the beginning of a divorce, you’re almost
guaranteed to go through fairly significant emotional strain as the process
unfolds. The more stress you’re put under, the more likely you are
to make a rash or ill-advised decision. Having an attorney at your side
can help prevent these issues from coming up seeing as they are trained
to maintain emotional distance and ensure that you don’t accept
unfavorable terms in an attempt to end the process as soon as possible.
Paperwork: What many people don’t understand is just how much paperwork can
be involved in a divorce. Contentious or not, all of the forms need to
be filled in correctly, and all agreements need to be read closely to
make sure that there aren’t any potential sticking points or wording
that could leave you in a bad place in the future. Without an experienced
attorney’s eyes looking over all relevant documents, you may end
up agreeing to terms that you will later regret.
Inexperience: Unless you are a divorce attorney, there’s a real chance that you
simply lack the information you need to make an informed decision. A trained
attorney spent years in school and in the courtroom, and that experience
has given them the knowledge to understand the nuances and complexities
behind divorce proceedings and handle any complications that may come up.
Whether or not you choose to proceed with a pro se divorce, it’s
important that you understand all of your options before making a final
decision. At James D. Madden, Attorney at Law, our Rancho Cucamonga divorce
lawyers have spent nearly 20 years helping hundreds of individuals and
families navigate their divorce and secure a beneficial outcome. If you’re
interested in speaking with a member of our firm, give us a call at (909)
fill out our online form to start out with a free case evaluation.
A Contested Divorce: Even if you and your soon to be ex-spouse enter the proceedings expecting
an uncontested divorce, complications or issues may come up that neither
of you foresaw. If you are unable to come to an agreement on your own,
you may need to go to court in order to settle any disputes. Without previous
experience in the courtroom, this could lead to an unfavorable outcome.