Is your marriage in trouble and you feel that a divorce is the best way to take care of things? If so, you may be irritated at the prospect of having a lengthy divorce proceeding, and this may have you thinking that a "do-it-yourself divorce" could help you be rid of your spouse quickly so that you can move on with your new life.
There are options for people to file for divorces on their own, but handling a divorce is a complicated endeavor, and there is a lot that could go wrong if you do not have legal representation. The following are examples of circumstances that make acquiring a lawyer critical to amicable outcomes in divorce proceedings.
Spouse Has Representation
If your spouse has a lawyer, you should not attempt to represent yourself or agree to the divorce terms their lawyer draws up. This is because you may end up signing off on contracts that are legally binding. Think of what would happen if you sign documents you do not understand that contain sensitive and costly terms such as paying spousal support or allowing your spouse to keep the home or family vehicles.
Minor or Dependent Children
Some spouses are able to come up with terms regarding minor children and adult children that are deemed dependents due to physical or mental issues. Others may not be able to come to agreeable terms. This is likely to be the case if you and your spouse both want custody. Perhaps you have agreed on joint custody, but this is still a sensitive issue, and it needs to be entered into the divorce decree to make it legally binding and the terms clear. Otherwise, all you will have is your word against your spouse's, and custody battles after a divorce decree has been entered may end up being more complex to legally resolve.
Some people make plans to relocate when their divorces are completed. This is something that may be important to mention during the divorce proceedings. This is because relocation plans may interfere with the final divorce decree, and you could be forced to remain in your locale if the situation is not addressed prior to the divorce becoming final. For example, if you were awarded joint custody or visitation privileges, the family court might include specifics such as the frequency that you are required to get your children. Residing in another state might make it difficult to keep up with the arrangements, and you could be held liable for contempt of court for violating the agreement.
A divorce lawyer is the best resource to use to determine whether the specifics of your divorce could be handled by a "divorce in a box approach." However, many people are not a good fit for this approach even if they do not have many assets. Some lawyers offer consultations, which can help you better understand any complexities about your situation. Contact a law firm, such as Kalamarides & Lambert, for more information.