Are you going to be getting a divorce? Maybe you and your spouse have decided that you just don’t work as a couple and want to get a divorce. Maybe the idea of the divorce is mutual. Maybe it’s one-sided. What matters right now is that you understand how to proceed with your divorce. Once the papers are filed, are you going to hire an attorney, or will you and your spouse try to get a DIY (do-it-yourself) divorce instead?
Benefits of a DIY Divorce
First, let’s consider some of the main reasons that people today often opt for a DIY divorce. Speed is one thing that many consider. Getting a DIY divorce does tend to be a little faster than going through the courts.
However, the biggest factor in choosing a DIY divorce tends to be the cost. There is no getting around the fact that getting a divorce has the potential to be very expensive. Not only are the spouses splitting up assets and debts, but they also have to pay their attorneys if they choose that route. This is in addition to divorce filing fees.
Although the filing fees can’t be avoided, it is sometimes possible to avoid working with an attorney. However, this is only true for some divorces—others are complex, and you will want to have an attorney. Let’s get a closer look at who might want to consider a DIY divorce.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a DIY Divorce?
If you and your spouse agree on all of the issues in your divorce, including things like the division of property, support, custody, etc., you could be a good candidate for a DIY divorce. This is because you won’t have to go to court to argue about anything. You just have to write out your settlement, get through the 60-day waiting period in Arizona, and then you can have the divorce finalized.
If you believe that you have all of the information you need regarding the assets and debts you and your spouse have, and they are relatively simple, a DIY divorce could work well for you.
If you are both comfortable with the arrangements for parenting time and legal decision-making, and you feel that the entire settlement is fair and reasonable, a do-it-yourself divorce could be a good idea. However, this doesn’t mean that it will be the right solution for everyone.
Those who have complex issues in their divorce, whether it’s related to assets, custody, or any other areas of importance may find that DIY simply won’t work. Things become too complicated for DIY, and it wouldn’t serve your best interests to go at it on your own.
Additionally, you might not be a good candidate for a DIY divorce if you don’t have the temperament for it. For example, if you don’t have the time or inclination to learn as much as possible about the laws in Arizona regarding divorce and family law, if you have trouble remembering to file paperwork, if you are bad about being organized, etc., then DIY might not be for you.
Sometimes, you might feel that you don’t need to work with attorneys, but you still need to have some guidance through your divorce. This is especially true when it comes to areas where you and your spouse can’t reach agreements. Rather than giving up and going right through the courts, consider mediation.
Using a divorce mediator can be a good way to help you and your spouse reach agreements in areas that you did not think possible. Having a mediator can often help you look at things from a different perspective. It can help you and your spouse to get on the same page regarding the divorce.
Consider Working with Paralegals
If it’s the paperwork that you are having problems with, then you could hire paralegals to help tend to those matters. They can take care of the paperwork for you, and you can handle other aspects of the divorce.
Avoid DIY in Certain Circumstances
Although there are benefits of a DIY divorce, there are certain times when you will want to avoid this type of divorce. If you have a manipulative spouse, for example, and you know you have problems knowing when they are telling the truth and when they are lying, then you don’t want to go through a DIY divorce with them. There’s no reason that they wouldn’t be lying to you now to get their way in the divorce while leading you on and making you think that it’s all your idea.
In addition to worrying about deception, you also want to avoid a DIY divorce when there is anger involved. If you and your ex don’t get along and you feel that they could be a danger to you or your children, going through a DIY divorce is not the right solution. Your fear could lead to making bad decisions, and it could lead to you being put in greater danger.
Main Con of a DIY Divorce
One of the other potential cons of getting a DIY divorce is the fact that even when you take the time to learn more about family law in Arizona, you still aren’t an expert. There will be things you can miss, and there is a chance that you could end up with a divorce agreement that favors your ex far more than it should. You don’t want to have an unfair outcome, as it can be difficult to make changes later.
Regardless of whether you are going to be working with an attorney or you are going to get a DIY divorce, make sure you are familiar with the basics of the divorce process. Learn the paperwork you need to file, the dates you have to remember, the importance of evidence, etc. In some cases, with simpler divorces, DIY will work great. However, if you have a complex divorce, don’t hesitate to get in touch with an attorney.