Take a look at the Internet and it can be easy to wonder why you would ever need a real lawyer again, especially when it comes to a no-contest divorce or comparing it to a legal malpractice lawsuit. If you and your partner both want to call it quits you may not need a prolonged exercise with lawyers – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them. There are two things to consider before filing.
The first problem comes down to timing
Filing legal paperwork is not as easy as it looks. There are specific orders of submission, attachments and time frames to be followed. Even if you can start all the paperwork online, you may have to get a lawyer to make sure it is submitted correctly. Some states, such as Rhode Island, don’t permit individuals to file their own paperwork. This is done because the potential errors can become a huge burden on the legal system. Make sure you check out the rules for your state. If it is a no contest divorce you may be able to save enough money by doing your own paperwork to be able to hire a lawyer to check the paperwork out and submit it correctly.
What to expect
Mediation is all the rage with amicable divorces and there is a lot a mediator can do. Before you sign the agreement it is essential that both parties retain a lawyer to review the agreement. This is done to make sure that there is no later recourse with one half saying they were taken advantage of. Many amicable divorces become less than friendly during the first two years post-divorce. It doesn’t mean that there is a problem, but that a lot of latent anger and emotion may come out. Having lawyers review the agreement before filing can help to reduce problems later.
Talk to a lawyer first
Lawyers will be very upfront about you with what is required to file your divorce correctly. Many of them offer a free consultation. The purpose of that consultation isn’t to try and “sell” you on their services, it is to define what is needed. If your divorce is no-contest, then it comes down to preparing and filing forms. Depending on the state that you live, and the state you were married in, this could be a simple or complex process. The best way to decide if you should handle it yourself is to take advantage of a free consultation with a divorce lawyer.