Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Divorce

There Is No Substitute for Experienced Representation

Do-it-yourself divorce kits may seem like the least-expensive, fastest alternative to hiring attorneys: You have the option to go online or get some forms from a paralegal service and do your divorce yourself. After all, in Florida, divorce is no fault, so you simply have to assert that your marriage is irretrievably broken. Is there a reason to spend money on a lawyer?

Yes, there is.

At the law firm of Anne E. Raduns, PA, we have seen the dangers of do-it-yourself divorce firsthand. Time and time again, we have had to come in and fix the errors that were made by well-meaning people who were trying to save money and get through their divorce more quickly by handling it on their own. Unfortunately, fixing these errors typically ends up costing more and taking more time in the final equation. We believe it is better to do it correctly from the start with the help of an attorney.

Marriage Is a Powerful Legal Institution

As a powerful legal institution, marriage is not easily dissolved. The family law court will not grant a dissolution of marriage unless and until all of the necessary requirements have been met, and if you cannot correctly complete the process yourself, it will proceed according to the automatic dictates of state law. Divorce must be handled carefully in order to ensure that the parties involved actually get what they think they are getting: a fair and permanent solution. Unfortunately, simple errors during a do-it-yourself divorce can cause serious problems. These mistakes include:

  • Placing a check mark in the wrong box on one of the forms
  • Failing to file something in a timely manner or to make an objection in a timely manner
  • Failing to file a required document
  • Neglecting to address issues that may concern the court

Even something as small as using a poorly chosen word regarding the marital home or issue in the parenting plan can end up causing damage that is difficult to repair.

You Will Be Held to the Same Standards as Attorneys

The courts in Florida are mandated to hold pro se litigants - individuals handling their cases on their own - to the same standards as attorneys. You will be required to know the law, whether or not you actually do. Once the final judgment is entered, the case is over. You may not get another chance to fix the problem.

If your working relationship with your spouse is strong enough that you would consider a do-it-yourself divorce, you may be surprised at how economical it is to work with an experienced attorney to complete your divorce together. We will be happy to review your case, ensure proper filings are made and provide the protection you and your children need as you begin to rebuild your life. Contact us now for an initial consultation with an Ocala divorce lawyer who has a decade of experience.