The Risks Associated with Handling Your Own Divorce

Good Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Handle Your Own Divorce

Man under stressStatistics continue to show that one of the principal causes of divorce is financial problems. As a result, many people choose to save money and handle their own divorce proceedings, and there’s no shortage of websites and how to books to guide you through the process. For a number of reasons, though, being your own divorce lawyer may not best meet your needs.

Emotions–There’s a saying in the legal profession—the person who represents himself has a fool for a client. It’s not that attorneys are afraid of losing business. It’s that they understand the emotional implications of a legal dispute. When you are one of the parties to a disagreement, it’s nearly impossible to view the causes, solutions and outcomes objectively. When the dispute involves a personal relationship, it becomes even more difficult to separate emotion from the decisionmaking process. When there are children involved, you can just about forget about it.
Your Children–Of course, children are another good reason not to handle your divorce on your own. You may want what’s best for your children, and you may believe that your soon-to-be ex-spouse does, too. But do you have any sense of the impact your divorce will have on your children? Do you understand how your children will respond to different parenting or custody arrangements? An experienced attorney can help you make an objective decision that is truly in the best interests of your child.

Money–Though it may seem like you are saving money by not paying legal fees, the decision to represent yourself may actually cost you money in the long run. You may agree to pay alimony when you don’t need to. You may enter into a property settlement that unfairly benefits your ex. You may enter into a child support arrangement that does not accurately reflect your respective incomes. Your spouse may be hiding assets or income.

Finding Ways to Resolve Your Differences—Let’s face it…you are probably getting a divorce because you couldn’t find ways to agree on the things that mattered. What confidence do you have that you’ll be able to do that in a divorce proceeding? That’s one of the principal reasons you hire a lawyer—because you haven’t been able to work things out on your own.

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Let us put our commitment, experience and dedication to work for you. To arrange a confidential meeting with an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney, contact our office online or call us at 215-886-1266.

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Montgomery County Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association
International Academy of Collaborative Professionals