Advantages of Divorcing Without a Lawyer
Divorce is not something we do everyday and can seem like a mysterious and daunting process beyond our abilities and understanding. In reality, divorce is a relatively simple process. So much so that you can file for divorce without a lawyer and while not suitable for some, there are many advantages to divorcing without a lawyer.
A Do-it-Yourself Divorce is a Cheap Divorce
One of the main advantages of divorcing without a lawyer is that it is the cheapest way to divorce, typically costing no more than a few hundred dollars for filing fees. In comparison, the average lawyer-managed divorce in America costs between $10,000 to $30,000, with attorney fees responsible for almost all the cost. In addition, whatever the estimated cost of a divorce every divorce has the built-in potential to cost much more than expected.
This means the cost advantage of divorcing without a lawyer is two fold. It is not only a cheap divorce, saving thousands in estimated costs. It can save thousands more in unexpected costs that you did not anticipate. By filing for divorce without a lawyer you will never know the true total saved. You will know that you have protected yourself from potentially ruinous unexpected divorce costs.
Low Risk of Conflict
Most often, unexpected divorce costs result from unexpected conflict. Make no mistake – with a little “help” from fee-hungry divorce lawyers even the most amicable divorce can quickly turn contentious. With divorce lawyers out of the picture, the potential for conflict is significantly reduced.
Of course you and your spouse may not immediately see eye to eye on every issue but you have an opportunity to reach a compromise at no cost at all. Even if you are not on the best of terms, there is a good chance your spouse will agree that it makes more sense to try and work together than lose the bulk of your savings and assets – not to mention your sanity – funding unnecessary conflict in a lawyer-managed divorce.
A Do-it-Yourself Divorce is Faster
With no conflict, divorce without a lawyer is typically much faster. If it is uncontested – you and your spouse have agreed on the details and arrangements in the do-it-yourself divorce forms – divorce will take only as long as your State’s statutory time scales. This is usually a matter of months from the date you filed from divorce.
Healthier for You
There is no doubt that a conflict-free divorce completed in the shortest possible time is a healthier divorce. Even the most amicable divorce takes an emotional toll. When there seems to be no end in sight, the stress of divorce can express itself physically too.
Better for Your Children
The speed of a do-it-yourself divorce is beneficial for children too – limiting the effects of divorce on children by bringing it to a conclusion as quickly as possible. Children are inevitably affected by the emotion and change surrounding divorce. The sooner the emotional atmosphere calms and new schedules and arrangements become familiar and routine, the better.
This particular advantage of divorcing without a lawyer may seem out of reach – people with children are typically advised not to divorce without a lawyer and in certain cases, quite rightly. However, if you and your spouse communicate reasonably well regarding your children, you can divorce without a lawyer. There are now many self-help divorce clinics to help the increasing number of people with children opting to divorce without a lawyer.
Expert Legal Advice is Available if You Need It
Divorce options are often presented in black and white. If entirely uncontested you can divorce without a lawyer. If not, you must get a lawyer to manage your entire divorce.
In practice, if there is a particular aspect of divorce that you or your spouse are concerned about there is no need to hand your entire divorce to a lawyer. You can seek independent legal advice on that issue alone and file for divorce without a lawyer. Lawyers are more flexible these days and have unbundled their services to provide expert advice on specific issues to people who are filing for divorce themselves. You can also take advantage of free legal advice available at self-help divorce clinics.
This means you can enjoy the best of both worlds – the advantages of divorce without a lawyer and the benefit of legal expertise if and when you need it, without losing control of your divorce.
Copyright 2009 Caroline Mackenzie
exclusively for DealWithDivorce.com
Filed under: Do It Yourself Divorce