As anyone who has been through a divorce will tell you, the process is not a fun experience. It can certainly be a painful, often frustrating, situation, which you want to get through as quickly as possible. And depending on the nature of your divorce proceedings, it can potentially be an expensive process. Although uncontested divorces are usually done quickly and with minimal expense, traditional contested divorces can incur significant legal expenses along the way.
When filing for divorce, you might be tempted by the multitude of online resources offering free divorce documents. You might be thinking that this sounds like the quick and easy route, and that lawyers and attorneys only make the situation more complicated. By following this mentality, you will most likely find yourself in quite a legal mess.
Common Mistakes with DIY Free Forms
Courts face couples every day that have mistakenly decided to file for divorce on their own. These couples are often turned away without a divorce because the documents do not meet the assorted, and often times nebulous, state requirements. Unfortunately, just having two spouses who agree that they wish to obtain a divorce is not sufficient to finalize a divorce, and the court is not legally allowed to offer the couple any legal guidance when requirements are not met. So, often times the parties involved have wasted time and energy, as well as emotional energy in a futile attempt to obtain a divorce, and are left with no knowledge of how to proceed.
In other words, just because the forms are available online, and it is possible to file for divorce without the assistance of a lawyer, that doesn’t mean you should. There is information online that explains to people how dentists pull teeth, but that doesn’t mean that when you have an infected tooth that you will pull it at home, without the professional help of a dentist!
Lawyers Do What Forms Cannot
When you attempt to complete a task, and you are unfamiliar with the details, you do not know how to react when something goes wrong. This is when acting on your own becomes dangerous and is especially true with something as complicated as divorce.
Professional lawyers spend many years studying the law, including all of the terminology, the language, the processes, and the documents. A lawyer knows the best course of action to follow in order to expedite the process and protect your best interests along the way. If for any reason you do run into trouble in court, you then have a lawyer on your side that will know how to swiftly fix the problem.
Filing your divorce papers yourself is a great way to drag out the divorce process indefinitely and to be reminded that just because something is free doesn’t make it a good fit for you. By hiring a lawyer, or at least consulting with one first, you will be able to ensure that your filing will be completed correctly the very first time and you can move on with your life.