Do It Yourself Divorce – Good or Bad?

family of three sitting down with someone talking Facing a divorce is hard enough. Facing the potential costs of divorce doesn’t make it any easier. This is why many people are turning to the “do-it-yourself” approach. But is this a good idea?

The best way to approach this question is through an analogy. Say the engine in your car breaks down and you are left stranded. Do you attempt to fix your car by yourself or do you bring your car to an automotive shop and have the work done by an experienced professional on your behalf? The answer is not always black and white, but most people will not be able to fix their engine by themselves and get everything right as an engine is a very complex piece of machinery. Your marriage is like this engine.

When people decide to try a do-it-yourself divorce, they are very likely to make mistakes and many end up turning to an attorney for help concluding their divorces after they are unable to do so themselves. There are several basic reasons this occurs:

  1. Most people do not know Minnesota divorce law or have the time to research it. Knowing the law is the most basic requirement to determine what your legal rights are.
  2. It is difficult to prepare the correct documents to meet the court’s requirements. It is however crucial to have the proper documents drafted correctly and this comes through experience.
  3. It is very likely that the parties in a divorce will be on an emotional roller coaster. Emotions are difficult to manage in a divorce, but making legal decisions based on emotion is a recipe for problems.
  4. It is very easy to forget important things when drafting your divorce agreement such as pension benefits, life insurance, Social Security benefits, health insurance, debts, etc. The specifics are extremely important in a divorce. When you have a passionate attorney who is familiar with all of the ins and outs of divorce, you will be able to turn over the complex details and take care of yourself instead.

Getting a divorce is challenging and draining. It becomes even more so when people try to navigate the unfamiliar. This leads to higher levels of stress and increases the danger that you will make legal mistakes, agree to unfavorable terms, or give up too much just to get it done.

In a do-it-yourself divorce, warns consumer advice website, you have no one to protect your legal rights. You may not be fully aware of what your rights are, and what you are entitled to under the law. When you hire an attorney, the attorney takes on a fiduciary role and is required to work in your best interest and advocate for you during the divorce process.

In terms of your own financial interests, making the investment to hire an attorney is worth it as the costs for mistakes or bad agreements can be much higher. If you crafted your own agreement, be sure to ask an attorney to look at it, a step that won’t cost you much, but could save a lot of money in the long run.

The experienced family law and divorce lawyers at the Bolt Law Firm are committed to helping you through every step of the challenging process to address your concerns and achieve your goals as efficiently as possible. If you have questions or wish to set up a consultation with one of our divorce attorneys, call us at (763) 292-2102.