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Do-It-Yourself Divorce: Less Straightforward than It May Seem

Even if you’re one of the lucky few whose relationship with a soon-to-be-ex spouse is amicable, getting a divorce is a costly process. Couples must establish separate households, figure out how to live off a single income (or solely off spousal support), and may also have to find money to afford expenses that weren’t necessary during the marriage, such as after-school child care. On top of the cost, divorce trials can last years from start to finish when filed in a backlogged California court, involving draining and contentious litigation.

Some couples who are on relatively good terms with their spouse when they decide to divorce may consider electing to file for divorce without the help of an attorney as a way to save money and limit the degree to which the divorce becomes contentious by keeping it out of court. However, self-filed divorce can come with its own risks and complications that cost-conscious couples might not understand when they make the choice to self-file. Contact an experienced Orange County family law attorney if you have more questions about the benefits of using an attorney for your California divorce.

Undoing poor outcomes, if possible, can be more expensive than getting them right the first time. During a divorce, your emotions are likely running high. You may be in such an emotional state, or simply in such a hurry to complete your divorce and move on with your life, that you agree to terms of property division or child custody that you later regret. Attempting to undo the terms of a divorce settlement agreement later on can end up sending you to court after all, and can cost more than simply hiring an attorney in the first place.

If you choose to use an attorney when filing for divorce, you can rest assured that you’ll understand what you’re entitled to under California community property law, even if you don’t choose to demand your full share under the law. You’ll also know that someone is on your side at the negotiating table when you might not be at your most mentally acute. Your attorney can help you create a divorce settlement agreement that will stand up to any subsequent challenges in court by ensuring it complies with all relevant legal requirements on the form and substance of separation agreements.

Divorce paperwork can be more challenging to fill out than you realize. When filing for divorce, you’re obligated to make a full disclosure of your financial assets and liabilities so that the court can identify whether the spouses understand what’s at stake and whether the assets have been reasonably divided between the parties. If spouses leave large assets off their disclosures which later come to light, they could face serious trouble from the court for concealing those assets.

If you are considering filing for divorce in California and want the comfort of knowing a skilled attorney is on your side during a difficult time, contact the knowledgeable and dedicated Mission Viejo family law attorney Landon C. Villavaso for a consultation, at 949-257-5188.

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