For couples who decide to divorce and believe that they can do so amicably, utilizing easily downloaded forms and attempting a Do-It-Yourself uncontested divorce may seem like the best way to go. It is true that there is no necessary need to turn a mutual decision into a lengthy litigation, but planning to go about this process without any kind of legal counsel is never wise.
Even if you are not going to hire lawyers to represent both parties, divorce is a more wide-reaching and complex undertaking than you may realize. A wiser and safer way to approach an uncontested divorce is to go together to consult with an attorney about the divorce, to make sure that everyone is on the same page and to be able to keep things amicable if any unforeseen conflicts do arise.
An experienced attorney can help you navigate the local and state legal system to ensure that your uncontested divorce is successful — and final! Many DIY divorces suffered from unprofessionalism that leaves one party or another vulnerable to unforeseen consequences later on. After you have been married, becoming entirely legally separated after divorce is not as simple as just deciding you’re no longer married. A poorly executed divorce could leave one spouse liable for the debts of the other or otherwise adversely affect each other’s credit scores, for example.
Similarly, you may believe that you can fully negotiate fair division of assets between the two of you, but without proper legal guidance, you may not fully understand exactly what all of your assets and liabilities truly are. Furthermore, if there are children involved, then it is vital to make sure that your parenting plan is well-designed, taking into account aspects about child support and custody that neither of you may fully understand without proper guidance.
Ultimately, you can still save yourselves large sums by attempting a no-fault divorce. However, it is unwise to do so without some experienced guidance to make sure you’re actually getting what you want, and doing so in a way that will be approved by the court.
Source: Findlaw, “Uncontested Divorce,” accessed Dec. 14, 2016