Quick, Cheap, and Good?
The old adage says you can pick any two. Once a relationship has progressed to the point of divorce, it can be tempting to search for a quick and inexpensive divorce option. There are many such options to choose from. From online divorces to handling the divorce on your own, you can find inexpensive avenues to help you through your divorce. But are they all good? When you are tired of fighting and ready to get it over with, there are things to consider while you are searching for closure.
Many people are turning to online options for their divorce because it seems to offer the easiest and fastest way to get through a very difficult situation. While there are plenty of reasons this can work as an inexpensive divorce option, there are some risk factors to be aware of if you choose to file online.
It’s not free
There are plenty of folks who began filing online believing they would save money on all those “outrageous attorney’s fees.” They were disappointed to find that not only were there fees, but the website fees often far exceeded those of an attorney retainer by a long shot.
There are scams
Not every site offering a cheap divorce online is legitimate. Many will take your money and mishandle your paperwork or not handle it at all. USLegal is a great place to start to ensure that any legal guidance you receive is legitimate.
You may not avoid court
The main reason individuals site for filing for divorce online is to avoid court. Unfortunately, especially in cases where children or property are involved, you may end up in court, anyway. Once he or she has read the forms provided by the online provider, a judge may still want to speak to one or both of you.
These are not attorneys
The people filing for these companies are only there to help you fill out the paperwork and help you file it. They can not give you the guidance that an experienced divorce lawyer can. They cannot offer any advice regarding child custody, distribution of property, or other complicated aspects of divorce law that you may have questions about.
Each state is different
While many of these companies have agencies in nearly every state, each state has different laws concerning divorce and separation. These laws are often changing, as well. Because of this, the guidance of a knowledgeable divorce lawyer can ensure that our case is handled correctly and as quickly as possible.
Meaning “for oneself,” handling your divorce pro se means just that. It means that instead of working through an attorney, you will handle everything yourself. While this may seem to offer an inexpensive divorce initially, it can pose headaches. It may end up costing you more in the long run. If you are familiar with the divorce law in your state and have a good amount of time to invest in the leg work, representing yourself in your divorce can definitely be a great way to save money. However, if you are not familiar with the laws of your state you may find yourself in over your head. Likewise, if you don’t have the time and organizational skills to handle all of the paperwork and filing that goes along with the process, you should look into hiring an attorney to represent you. Finally, if you have children or considerable assets, you may want to consult an attorney to ensure that you haven’t overlooked that you may regret later.
An uncontested divorce is often a good choice if there are no issues in dispute spouses. However, uncontested divorces will still require legal counsel on some aspects, just as any other divorce. The court will mandate mediation in almost all situations where child custody is at issue. However, many mistakenly treat the mediator as their personal counsel. The mediator’s job is very specific, and a mediator should not be treated as your attorney during the proceedings. This person simply serves to assist the family in reaching an agreement regarding any issues of custody or property. This works well when everyone is aware of all of the issues at play and are in general agreement. It can be more complicated and require more time and monetary investment when you discover a detail or item which will require more mediation.
Finally, often in an effort to avoid trial and a long divorce, couples will file uncontested and make agreements they are not actually comfortable with in the name of “making peace.” This can lead to bitterness between you and your ex, as well as potentially costing more down the road. It is important to make sure that your best interest and that of your children is represented fairly.
Hiring a Divorce Attorney
There are plenty of reasons you might be better off starting with an attorney in your corner. There is a misconception that by hiring a divorce attorney, you are “preparing for battle.” This is simply not the case. It does mean that you are interested in coming to the most fair and well informed decision possible for your future. After years of working in this field, the attorneys at Hall & Navarro, PC understand that divorce doesn’t have to be ugly.
Filing for divorce can be confusing and complicated, and it is important to seek experienced legal counsel to ensure you get the outcome you deserve. Forcing to settle for less than you deserve can cause feelings of resentment, and put you in a situation to make it harder to find closure.
Martha Hall has been assisting clients in South Georgia with Family Law proceedings for over 22 years. Martha is passionate about helping families when they are faced with complex family law issues. She has helped many families work through complicated divorces in Statesboro, GA, Springfield, GA, Sylvania, GA and the surrounding areas.
Martha Hall concentrates in Family Law. Specifically, she concentrates in the areas of Divorce, Child Custody Issues, Child Support Issues, Adoption, Mediation, and Legitimation. Martha attended The University of Memphis—Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and received her Juris Doctorate, Law in 1994 from Georgia Southern University. Hall & Navarro has two South Georgia offices to serve you, one in Springfield, GA and one in Statesboro, GA. The attorneys at Hall & Navarro provide focused and experienced representation from your initial consultation until the resolution of your legal matter. We are dedicated to serving individuals and businesses and offer a broad range of legal services.
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