The perils of do-it-yourself divorce in Colorado
Many people think that handling their divorce cases themselves will be economic and efficient, but foregoing hiring an attorney may be risky.
Not all Colorado marriages are meant to stand the test of time and, as a result, couples may choose to get divorced. According to Colorado Public Radio, there were more than 21,000 divorces across the state in 2013 alone. More and more, couples who make the difficult decision to divorce are choosing to represent themselves. Although this option may seem like it will save time and money, pro se divorces can be risky.
Going pro se does not always save money
In addition to being emotionally taxing, going through a divorce can often strain couples financially. Consequently, many people consider handling their cases themselves, or going pro se, in order to save money. For going hiring an attorney may eliminate some of the costs, such as attorneys’ fees. However, handling their cases themselves does not guarantee that people will save money on their divorce. Without someone to negotiate on their behalf, divorcing spouses may not get all that they are entitled to.
Average people do not understand the legalities
While entering into a marriage can often be done with little more than signing a marriage certificate, the process of getting divorced is much more complicated. There are a number of factors, such as property division and spousal maintenance, which must be settled. The Huffington Post points out that, on their own, people may reach agreements that are not legally acceptable. Consequently, the judges may reject those agreements, sending couples back to the negotiation table.
Attorneys, on the other hand, are familiar with what people can and cannot do under the law. Therefore, they are able to help their clients to come up with acceptable solutions so that they only have to deal with an issue once. Furthermore, lawyers may also present options to their clients that they did not know existed.
No special treatment for going pro se
People who choose to handle their divorce cases themselves are subject to the same rules and procedures as are legal representatives. Due to their unfamiliarity with the process, however, they may find themselves unsure of what is expected of them or how to proceed. In some cases, according to the Huffington Post, this may cause judges to lose patience with them. When a judge becomes unsympathetic, it may put a person’s entire case in jeopardy.
Emotions may outweigh objectivity
Anger, hurt feelings and other emotions often abound at the end of a marriage. While this is normal and to be expected, it can significantly affect the divorce process. People may let their emotions rule them, which may affect their ability to productively negotiate settlement agreements with their soon-to-be ex-spouses. An attorney is able to offer objective advice and help people to see when they are being unreasonable in their requests or demands.
Dealing with the paperwork
It can seem like there are mountains of paperwork involved with divorce cases. When heading into the courtroom, it is important for people to have their documentation in order. Failing to have their paperwork completed properly could impact the outcome of their cases.
Looking to the future
When Coloradoans divorce, the choices they make throughout the process may have a significant effect on the rest of their lives. While they may feel that no one is more invested in their cases than they are, handling their divorce pro se may adversely affect the outcome. Therefore, those who are considering a divorce may benefit from consulting with an attorney. A legal representative may help them to understand their options and guide them through the process.