Why a “Do It Yourself” Divorce Can Lead to Problems

If you’ve decided to get a divorce, there are lots of decisions you’re going to need to make, including whether you want to get a lawyer. Understandably, many people want the process over as quickly as possible. If you and your spouse agree on some or all of the issues, you may be thinking you can skip getting a lawyer and just do the divorce yourself. This is a tempting option. After all, it would save money, and getting a lawyer seems like you’re taking a step toward a contested divorce. Even when you and your spouse agree, though, having a lawyer to help you through the process is a very good idea.

First, understand that your lawyer is there to work for you. If you tell your lawyer that you want to settle and get the divorce done with a minimum of fuss, then the lawyer’s job is to follow your instructions. Getting a lawyer doesn’t automatically mean that you have to have a big, drawn out divorce. Your lawyer will help protect you and guide you through a complicated process. Your lawyer is specifically trained to understand the law and spot problems. Having a lawyer just means that you have someone to help navigate you through your divorce, and to ensure that it is done right.

Next, there are financial considerations that a lawyer understands and is trained to deal with. Child support is the most obvious example. The child support calculation can get complicated, especially when one parent is self-employed. In addition to child support, spousal alimony (referred to as spousal maintenance in Washington) is an issue best dealt with by a professional. If you’re the spouse that is supposed to pay support, your lawyer can help you know what is an appropriate amount of support. On the flip side, if you’re the receiving spouse, your lawyer can tell you whether you are waiving important rights and point out potential financial issues you may have in the future if you don’t ask for what you need.

Divorce also requires drafting important legal documents. The obvious example includes the papers you file to actually start your divorce, but it doesn’t end there. If you need to divide a retirement account, for example, there is a set of complicated paperwork that goes along with that. If you need to transfer the marital residence to one spouse or the other, your lawyer can draft those documents, too.

Although it’s tempting to try to get a divorce done quickly and at a minimum cost, there are overwhelming benefits to getting a lawyer. A lawyer will help you unravel the difficulties of divorce and protect your rights. Contact us today at (253) 272-9459 to talk about your divorce and how we can help you achieve your goals.


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