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How To Divorce Without a Lawyer

by | Feb 23, 2022

In 2019, there were six divorced women per 1000 married people in Wisconsin. While no one gets married with the hind thought of an eventual divorce, sometimes things happen. When this dreaded “D” word comes knocking, the emotional, legal and mental turmoil can be devastating. It’s worse when children and property-related differences are at the center of the dispute. 

In some uncommon cases, couples who agree amicably on all matters about the divorce may seamlessly complete the divorce process without a divorce lawyer. However, both parties in such cases may need to scan through the terms of the divorce to capture every detail about obligations, rights, and limitations. 

Once the rains start beating your marriage, the first question that pops is in your mind, “how to divorce without a divorce lawyer.”

As divorce attorneys, this is a route we do not recommend because of all the situations we have seen where a “do-it-yourself divorce” doesn’t work out as intended. Often an equitable outcome is not always the same.

If you want to learn about what are some criteria that must be true if you even want to consider getting a divorce without a lawyer, here are some insights on the separation process.

Divorce Proceedings Without a Lawyer: What you Need to Know

Before taking up your divorce process without a lawyer, there’re things you need to put into consideration. 

  • It’s Great If There’re No Strings Attached 

It’s easy for you to consider pushing for a DIY divorce process where there are no strings attached between you and your spouse. If there are no kids involved, no assets involved, and no similar income streams, then going into a Pro se divorce can be an option. In such cases, you are sure that there’s nothing to lose regardless of the outcome of the process. The truth, however, is that this is a rare scenario. Unless you have had a short-lived marriage, most couples have at least one shared income stream or jointly owned assets. The other common scenario is where children are involved

  • You Can Consider if the Country Law and Procedures are Clear 

The government at the State and the national level regulates the dissolution of marriage. The fault and no-fault legal procedure determine the grounds of divorce, division of marital property, child custody, and spousal support. While the family and divorce laws in the United States may seem simple on paper, they are a complex set of clauses that require expert interpretation. Are you considering going it alone in the divorce process without a lawyer? First, it would be necessary to understand the legal framework around the divorce process. 

  • You are on Your Own throughout the Process

Undertaking the divorce process without a lawyer can be a tricky process. It would help if you undertook adequate background research beforehand to understand all the dynamics around your case. The internet is always a good place to start in your fishing expedition. Unfortunately, the internet also has numerous misleading sources of information. 

You need to filter through all the information available before making any move. Unlike in cases where there’s a lawyer to source for information and provide a way forward, it’s incumbent upon you to undertake the research needed and identify all the gray areas. After all, the courts still expect you to follow all the court procedures in the divorce process, whether it’s DIY litigation or one that a lawyer heads. 

  • It’s going to Be Time Consuming 

For most people, the divorce process begins when the mental and emotional self is bleeding. It may be challenging to do everything needed within the right time. Due to lack of proper guidelines, such limited knowledge of the processes, issues, and procedures needed can cause the process to start, stop, and restart again in numerous instances. 

The scenario may cause the determination to take much longer than the actual average time. Couples dealing with divorce would wish to expedite the process of resolution sooner. When time becomes a factor in such a process, it may breed frustrations and extended agony to an already hurting couple. 

While it’s possible to file a divorce without a lawyer, the time that may be wasted in the process should be a concern. If time is a factor for you, going the DIY way may not be advisable. 

  • It’s the Lowest Cost Option, but….

The divorce process can have unavoidable cost implications with a lawyer on board. However, when going the do-it-yourself way, the cost significantly goes down. Compared to all the other options in the divorce litigation process, the pro sees the divorce approach bears the most negligible cost implications on paper. In this case, the big “but” is perhaps due to ripple costs due to delays during the process. The several hundred dollars in court fees incurred during the stop and start cycles can be costlier than hiring a divorce lawyer. On the same note, the risk of getting a raw deal from the process and hence missing out on the financial benefits is high when you are on your own. 

You are Disadvantaged if Your Estranged Spouse Has Lawyer 

It’s okay to approach a divorce process without a lawyer. With the right insights and preparation, you can tilt the case in your favor and enjoy the benefits of a favorable ruling. However, this is highly unlikely if the other party has legal representation. Most divorce lawyers have been in the trade long enough. They can easily turn around a case in their client’s favor to your disadvantage. 

It’s Highly Recommended that You Consider a Divorce Lawyer 

Divorce proceedings involve emotions, mental anguish, and dented relationships. During such a process, the last thing you want is to deal with the legal complexities of handling the entire procedure without legal support. The DIY divorce process can seem simple on paper. However, the time, cost, and emotional frustrations involved can easily throw you off the cliff. 

The good news is that you don’t have to deal with the mental anguish of handling a divorce on your own. You are safer in the hands of a Wisconsin divorce lawyer with years of experience in handling divorce cases. A divorce lawyer handles all the processes and procedures of the divorce case so that you can take time away and heal. The advantage, in this case, is that divorce lawyers have the experience and the exposure needed to argue your case. 

Vanden Heuvel & Dineen S.C. is here to help if you have a pending divorce. Our deep understanding of family law and divorce is our armor in our quest to give you professional legal support. 

Are you facing an ugly divorce process and wonder where to turn to for reliable legal support? Contact us for a free consultation today. 

Written by Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C.

Divorce | Family Law

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