Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer or Can I Do It On My Own?

Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer or Can I Do It On My Own?

Here is something divorce attorneys hear far too often: “My spouse and I were able to work everything out on our own, write down our own agreement, go to the courthouse, fill out the paperwork, and get a divorce.”

After all, aren’t the courts supposed to be people friendly? Shouldn’t everyone be able to use some common sense and work things out for themselves? If we make a mistake, won’t a judge step in and correct it for us?

Please, please, please – do not ever be tempted to try and navigate a divorce by yourself.

Here’s why:

  1. Courts don’t help people. Frankly, they’re not allowed. They cannot even provide legal advice to litigants, whether they have their own attorneys or none at all.
  1. Justice is blind. What does that mean? It means if you make a mistake, tough luck. Let’s suppose your DIY divorce neglected to ask for retirement assets to be divided. Or for the Court to maintain jurisdiction to sign a retirement division order. Too bad.
  1. What you don’t know can hurt you. What about those things you did not know you could – or should – talk about. Health insurance? Extracurricular activities? Even bigger – how about alimony?
  1. Money matters. Did you figure out the finances properly? Are you now paying almost your entire paycheck to your spouse because you thought that was the right thing to do?
  1. The Dark Underside. Maybe your spouse really did have an attorney and hid that from you. You may have been bamboozled!
  1. There is another weapon the Governor of Maryland is about to sign off on, likely effective on October 1, 2018. In short, if you and your spouse reach an agreement, you will no longer have to be separated for a year before getting your divorce. So, if you sign a bad agreement, then get a quickie divorce, it is unlikely even an experienced attorney would be able to undo the potentially catastrophic damage that could result.

Do you see the moral of the story coming at you? You guessed it – find an experienced divorce attorney early. An attorney’s experience is often the most valuable asset you have to effectively pursue the results you desire. He or she can help you understand all of your options for moving forward.

SIEGELLAW can help. Call us at 410-792-2300, or fill out the form to request additional information.