It is no secret that divorce is a challenging experience. It is also well-known that divorce can have a significant financial impact on you throughout the divorce process and after a divorce is finalized. As such, many people find do-it-yourself divorce options to be tempting. These options come in many different forms including downloadable online forms that you fill out yourself, online document preparation firms that prepare your paperwork for you, kits you buy in a store, and similar approaches. While these options may seem appealing because of their low upfront costs, that does not make them an effective way to navigate the complexities of divorce, and utilizing them may end up costing you significantly more in the long run. Understanding the truth behind some common do-it-yourself divorce myths can help you make the right choice when it comes to how you approach your divorce.
MYTH: Doing it Yourself Will Keep Costs at a Minimum
While the upfront costs of do-it-yourself divorce approaches can be inviting, it is important to remember that these costs can be deceptive. You will still be responsible for court costs and filing fees, as well as other incidental fees imposed by the state throughout the divorce process. Mistakes made in trying to navigate the process on your own can increase these costs.
A Florida divorce attorney will help you explore a variety of different options that can help save you money during the divorce process and after the divorce has been finalized. These might include tactics like mediation in which you and your spouse will work together to find a solution to issues upon which you cannot agree. Mediation can be a way to save money as opposed to traditional and more adversarial approaches to divorce.
In mediation and other aspects of divorce requiring negotiation, an experienced Florida divorce attorney can help you prioritize your goals and stay focused during the process. Even when you think you and your spouse are in agreement, this can help you avoid wasting time and money while still accomplishing your goals throughout the divorce process. There is a lot at stake when it comes to property division, custody decisions, and other aspects of a divorce that can significantly impact you and your family. Ensuring you have experienced legal advocacy can help you prepare for these challenges and overcome them in a cost-effective manner.
MYTH: Do-it-Yourself Divorce is Easier on the Family
Utilizing a do-it-yourself approach to divorce will not automatically avoid conflict. That part is up to you, and it is not always easy. When you work with an experienced Florida divorce attorney, you can anticipate and avoid many unnecessary conflicts while working productively through any that do arise. Much of the impact divorce will have on your family is up to you, regardless of the approach you take. While lawyers may be associated with adversarial divorces, that is not necessarily the case. In many situations, using lawyers can help you avoid mistakes that deepen conflict and raise tensions. They also provide guidance throughout the process, taking some of the stress associated with a divorce off your shoulders.
MYTH: The Paperwork is Easy
At first glance, it may seem that the paperwork involved in a divorce is easy to prepare and file. However, that is not necessarily the case. Many divorces are extremely complex and require important attention to detail in preparing and filing appropriate paperwork. Mistakes on this paperwork can cause delays in divorce proceedings and may even forfeit important rights in certain circumstances.
Additionally, there is a great deal more paperwork involved in a divorce than just the initial filing. Many do-it-yourself approaches are no designed to take an individual’s particular circumstances into consideration and missing important deadlines could have a significant negative impact on your divorce. An experienced divorce attorney has the ability to focus time and attention on your case while you maintain other aspects of your life, such as work and/or education. Florida family law attorneys that focus on divorce know what to expect when it comes to filing requirements and are equipped to make adequate preparations for meeting the clerical demands involved in divorce proceedings.
MYTH: Parenting Plans are Easy
Florida courts require parents to have a parenting plan. Even in the best-case scenario where there are open lines of communication and parents have agreed on an approach to a parenting plan, it is easy to overlook important components of a parenting plan that can cause unnecessary stress and conflict during the divorce as well as after a divorce is finalized.
In situations in which parents do not agree on an approach to custody, legal representation is even more important when it comes to negotiating a parenting plan. Emotions can run high when it comes to custody issues, but an experienced Florida divorce attorney who understands the nuances of Florida law and your objectives in custody can apply those things to the negotiation process and help you make sure that you are advocating for your rights. Parenting plans are a crucial part of divorce involving minor children, and a mistake in your plan could cost a lot more to fix down the line.
Securing Effective Legal Advocacy
There is a great deal at stake during divorce. The law surrounding divorce and various aspects involved in it can be complex, and it can be easy to overlook important details that can have a significant impact on your rights during the divorce and once a divorce has been finalized. Many times, online forms and other do-it-yourself divorce approaches do not take these nuances into consideration, and you could find yourself at quite a disadvantage when this happens. Working with an experienced lawyer who is dedicated to advocating for clients throughout the Florida divorce process is an important step in securing your rights. If you have made the difficult choice to pursue a divorce or have questions about how divorce might impact you and your family, contact Scott J. Stadler to schedule a consultation and find out more information regarding your concerns.