If divorce is on the table, then you likely feel that you already have enough to worry about. The cost and invasiveness of bringing lawyers into the mix might drive you to consider a do-it-yourself divorce.
A do-it-yourself divorce is usually not a good idea, especially if early attempts at mediation fail. However, you can make an educated decision on how to proceed with your divorce by learning about the consequences and possibilities of taking the matter into your own hands.
What are the consequences of a do-it-yourself divorce?
When you and your spouse decide to handle the divorce yourselves, the first thing you must accept is that it will be a large commitment of your personal time. You must properly fill out all the relevant paperwork, meet with court representatives yourself, and ensure legal compliance with your state. If you make any mistakes, it can be financially and emotionally costly to amend them later. Arguments and disagreements can arise surrounding such mistakes, contributing to the already-existing psychological impacts of divorce.
When is a do-it-yourself divorce possible?
If you are aware of the risks and still intend to attempt a do-it-yourself divorce, consider your circumstances to determine if it is realistically possible. A self-administered divorce could be a good idea if all of the following conditions are true for you:
- You and your spouse do not contest any divorce terms
- You and your spouse agree upon a child custody arrangement
- You have few marital assets to divide
- There are no prior incidents of domestic violence in your marriage
In the event that you and your spouse mutually agree upon a do-it-yourself approach to divorce, you might still consider consulting with a family law attorney to review your complete documents before submission.