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The Risks of a D.I.Y. Divorce

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In our internet age, you may believe that you can handle any task with the help of some dedicated Googling. There are many self-help legal websites and handbooks that purport to walk readers through the process of handling their own divorce filing without the help of an attorney. While it may be true that some couples can resolve their divorce without the help of a lawyer, these cases are the exception rather than the rule. Below, learn some common and erroneous beliefs about do-it-yourself divorces, and contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney with any additional questions.

Amicable spouses don’t always make for amicable do-it-yourself divorces

Some couples assume that, if they’re on friendly terms when they decide to divorce, they’ll be able to resolve their split without outside help from a lawyer. Being on good terms may not prevent you and your spouse from running into conflicts during the process of dividing up your property or determining how you’ll share custody of your kids. An experienced lawyer who understands your desire not to become mired in conflict can provide potential solutions that will meet the needs of both parties, gleaned from years of work with similar couples.

The paperwork isn’t always straightforward

Completing your divorce filing paperwork isn’t quite as simple as filling out other government forms. For one thing, you’ll need to make a full disclosure of all your income and assets, which can be less straightforward than you think. Should you forget certain property when making your disclosures, you could wind up being accused of hiding assets and be forced to reopen your case.

Self-help divorces aren’t the only way to save money on a split, and they could cost more in the long run

Many divorcing spouses believe that the only way to keep divorce expenses down is to handle it themselves rather than hiring a lawyer. However, sometimes electing not to hire an attorney can result in more expenses down the line. For example, reopening a final divorce in the event of an error can become a very costly mistake, and would likely require an attorney’s help to fix. Additionally, if you and your spouse leave important terms out of your divorce settlement agreement or custody sharing agreement, you could face costly litigation down the line. Instead of not hiring an attorney, consider mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution, and remember that the number one way to keep costs low is to avoid fighting over issues that aren’t truly important to you.

If you’re considering filing for divorce in New Jersey and are wondering whether you need an attorney to represent you, contact the seasoned and effective Union family law attorney John B. D’Alessandro for a consultation on your divorce filing, at 908-964-0102.

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