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Can I file for divorce without hiring a lawyer?

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2022 | Divorce

In the age of the internet, many people feel like they can do the work of other skilled professionals. However, many people have learned the hard way that simply watching a video tutorial online about replacing pipes in their home does not result in a leak-free end product. The same can be true when people try to research legal issues online.

Plenty of people will tell you that you can divorce without a lawyer. A pro se filing or do-it-yourself (DIY) divorce seems like a cheap solution to a lot of people. Filing divorce on your own behalf can be the most expensive mistake you ever make.

You don’t really understand state law

Do you understand what it means to equitably divide household property? Even if you read an online description of how equitable means just and not even, it can be hard to apply that abstract definition to your inventory of assets and debts. When you don’t understand the law, you will be at a disadvantage during negotiations with your spouse, especially if they have a lawyer.

Settlements can be dangerous without professional review

Those pursuing a DIY divorce often try to arrange a settlement with their spouse and proceed with an uncontested divorce filing. The goal is to keep the process as affordable as possible.

Unfortunately, when you negotiate your own settlement and voluntarily agree to it, you will have a hard time advocating for yourself if it turns out that your spouse deceived you, misrepresented your assets or retained a very unfair portion of your marital estate.

When you have a lawyer to review your proposed settlement, you minimize the risk of your spouse taking advantage of you and manipulating the whole process for their personal benefit.

It costs more to correct a mistake after your divorce

You want to protect the relationships that matter the most to you and ensure that you receive a fair portion of your marital property. If you eventually go back over your divorce agreements and realize that your spouse lied to you about their personal property or tricked you into accepting an unfair division of parenting time, going back to court can be difficult.

Relitigating issues from your divorce can be even more expensive than taking the time to settle the issues the right way when you first decide to divorce.

When you have a lawyer representing you, you will have the information that you need about the law and your rights. You can trust that there will be someone who remains calm to speak on your behalf during negotiations with your spouse’s lawyer or while in court. You don’t have to worry about forgetting important paperwork or falling victim to manipulative negotiation tactics.

Connecting with the right support takes a lot of the risk out of modern Michigan divorce proceedings.