There are a lot of advocates for doing practically everything yourself, from working on home improvement to starting a business. The concept of a DIY divorce is exploding in popularity as well, especially with the widespread information available via the internet. While a cheap, fast and easy divorce may sound convincing, you may want to reconsider this prospect.
The fact is that DIY divorces can be harmful to your finances, emotions and legal rights. Here are some core pitfalls of getting a divorce without help.
1. Divorce is never simple
Even if you and your spouse want to have an amicable divorce, it is never as easy as you want it to be. As you go through the process, you may start to have fights and disputes regarding assets, custody agreements and support payments. If you try to solve these problems without assistance, your divorce can quickly get costly and messy.
2. It is easy to misunderstand forms – or use the wrong ones
Divorce is a very formal legal process. You need to meet all the requirements and fill out the correct forms with complete accuracy. Downloading forms from the internet and filling them out by yourself may sound convenient, but it is easy to make mistakes.
3. You may not know your rights or entitlements
You have certain rights and entitlements regarding property, support payments and parenting. If you do not receive legal counsel, you may be unaware of these protections. It is vital to completely understand what you deserve so you can negotiate for a fair settlement.
4. It is easy to forget tax consequences
Ending your marriage comes with a variety of changes to your taxes. The consequences of property division can have a drastic impact on your taxes, especially when it comes to marital property, retirement accounts, investment accounts and real estate.
5. Emotional strain
Without professional guidance, you may make decisions based on your emotions instead of what is most beneficial. Emotions may cloud your judgment and cause you to make decisions you may regret later.