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Why DIY Divorce Can Be Costly

Posted on in Divorce

Why DIY Divorce Can Be CostlyWe live in a do-it-yourself culture where people try to save money by performing complex tasks on their own – whether it is doing your own home repairs or completing your own divorce. In both cases, you may think that you can avoid the biggest expense by not hiring a professional to do the job for you. With a divorce, you see a wealth of online divorce resources and sites that proclaim the benefits of DIY divorce. Why pay a divorce attorney when the internet has all the information you need to file your own divorce? The answer is that a DIY divorce can be costly in its own way. Some of the costs are immediate, but it may take years for you to realize the long-term costs.

Immediate Costs

A DIY divorce is not divorcing without a lawyer. You are essentially serving as your own lawyer for the divorce. Unlike a divorce lawyer, you likely do not have previous experience with divorce law. Before starting a DIY divorce, you should understand that you are responsible for:

  • Learning your state’s divorce laws and how they apply to your case;
  • Identifying and assessing the value of all of your marital and nonmarital properties;
  • Scheduling your divorce negotiations and court appearances;
  • Writing and reviewing your divorce agreement; and
  • Presenting your agreement in divorce court.

Representing yourself in your divorce can be the equivalent of working at least a part-time job. You may need to work fulltime on your divorce if you want to finish it in a timely manner. Mistakes are natural when you are learning something as complicated as divorce, and each mistake costs you more time and possibly court fees. Courts will reject divorce agreements that do not comply with state laws.

Long-Term Costs

You may be able to complete a divorce agreement on your own, but will it be a good agreement? There are several ways that you can lose money in the long run because of decisions in your agreement. You could:

  • Take assets with a short-term value in exchange for assets that will increase in value;
  • Forget the tax consequences of keeping properties, such as your home; or
  • Fail to consider what you need for a sustainable budget after your divorce.

Knowing divorce law does not mean you know how to apply the law to get the maximum financial benefits out of your agreement and to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

If you create your own divorce agreement, it is highly advisable that you allow a divorce attorney to review it before you take it to court. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can identify mistakes in the agreement and warn you about long-term financial problems that your agreement may create. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.


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