Is a DIY Divorce Right For You?
There's no doubt that divorce costs money, and many people today are considering the "DIY" divorce option because it cuts legal fees out of the equation. Whilst it's possible to file for divorce online without any help from a lawyer, that's only a good option in certain circumstances. Ask yourself these questions to learn whether a DIY divorce or divorce through a family lawyer is better suited for your situation.
Do You Both Want the Divorce?
Do you both agree to pursue the divorce? If the answer is no, a DIY divorce will be difficult if not impossible. When one person wants the divorce and the other is contesting it, establishing clear grounds becomes vital. This can be a complicated and challenging process, and it's something that only a family lawyer's unique expertise can really accomplish successfully.
If you both agree that divorce is best, a DIY divorce may be easiest—but be aware that this agreement might break down when you start to discuss division of property.
Can You Agree on Property Division?
This is the main reason that DIY divorces just aren't possible in many cases. Property division in a divorce is decided by a judge if a couple disagrees—and this is often the case. There are no set rules for property division in Australia. Property division depends upon many factors, including:
- What property you each brought into the marriage
- How much income you each earned during the course of the marriage
- Whether one of you supported the other during the marriage
- What type of debts were incurred during the marriage
If you and your spouse just can't agree on what's fair in terms of property division, don't waste your time trying to pursue a DIY divorce. This matter will probably require the skillful negotiation tactics that only a professional like a family lawyer can use successfully.
Are There Other Legal Considerations?
If there are other legal considerations in the divorce, a DIY divorce won't generally be possible. For example, if there are separate allegations of domestic violence or other legal charges pending, those can change the situation, particularly when it comes to establishing grounds for divorce. Don't try to initiate a DIY divorce if there are other legal considerations—it will likely just delay the divorce, or at least complicate matters dramatically. If there are current legal charges—or the threat of charges looming—contact a family lawyer for help before you try to file a DIY divorce.
Whilst a DIY divorce can save you heaps of money in the right circumstances, those circumstances are quite rare. If you're in doubt whether it's the right choice for you, contact a local family lawyer to ask for a consultation today.