Why Hire a Lawyer versus Doing a DIY Divorce?

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of DIY divorce websites. These sites advertise a one-size fits all divorce package that is supposedly compliant with the local laws in any jurisdiction. If you try to DIY your divorce, you will purchase a set of forms that you are responsible for filling out and filing yourself with the Court. No one can give you legal advice or answer any substantive questions you have about the process.  

Time and time again, I have had clients who have come to me after attempting a DIY divorce, only to find that the package they purchased from the website is not in compliance with local rules and requirements. If your DIY divorce package is not in compliance with local requirements, neither the Clerk nor the Judge will be able to explain to you what you need to do to amend your paperwork because they are not allowed to give you legal advice. Only a lawyer can give you legal advice.  Worst of all, clients often have their cases dismissed entirely because they cannot determine how to properly amend their paperwork, losing all the money they have investing in the DIY paperwork and their filing fee in the process. If you hire a lawyer to fix documents that were incorrectly filed in the first place, it could end up costing you more money than if you had hired a lawyer from the beginning.

In addition to the above technical reasons, a lawyer can help give you guidance based on their training and experience to help to navigate one of the most difficult times in your life. A lawyer can help you if you are being bullied or coerced into agreeing to something that is not in your best interests. Your lawyer is your advocate.