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Do It Yourself Divorce Is A Bad Idea


Recently, a number of companies have been trying to persuade people that they can save money by handling their divorce on their own. These companies sell packets of generic forms in books or on the Internet, claiming that they were developed by “expert” attorneys and that they’re all you need.

Buyer beware! DIY Divorce Is Not As Easy as it Seems

These forms might be accepted by a divorce court, but they’re not tailored to your specific situation and the companies do not provide legal advice to protect you. Countless people who have used these forms have made mistakes that have cost them far more than they would ever have spent on a lawyer.

The sad irony is that the people who use these forms tend to be couples who are splitting up on reasonably good terms. They think they’re saving money – but the truth is that these types of uncontested divorces are the ones where attorney fees are low and where an attorney can provide the greatest “bang for the buck,” because all of the attorney’s time is spent protecting you rather than fighting with the other side.

Questions To Ask Someone Considering a DIY Divorce in Raleigh

If you know someone who’s thinking of a “do-it-yourself” divorce, ask them these questions:

• Do you know if you’re entitled to a share of your spouse’s pension, IRA or 401(k) plan?

If so, do you understand the highly technical requirements you must comply with as to your spouse’s employer or plan custodian? A “divorce kit” generally won’t help you with this.

• If you’re splitting up property, are you aware of all the tax consequences?

Many people have done it the wrong way, and been surprised later with a large and unnecessary capital gains or other tax bill. (A divorce kit won’t give you tax advice, either.)

• How can you be sure that your spouse doesn’t have assets that he or she isn’t telling you about?

• If your spouse promises to pay you money, and doesn’t follow through, how will you be protected?

Or if you spouse promises to pay you money and later files for bankruptcy, how will you be protected?

• Do you know how to re-title property in separate names in a way that provides legal safeguards?

Do you know every type of beneficiary designation that need to be changed?

• Are you entitled to a share of your spouse’s stock options?

Do you know how to divide them in a way that’s legally effective?

• Do you know what changes need to be made to your estate plan after the divorce?

• Do you fully understand the effect of the divorce on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, health insurance, and other benefits?

• If you have children, have you taken care of them in terms of visitation and support?

Will they be fully protected if your circumstances change in the future, or if your spouse’s circumstances change?

• What if your children incur large expenses in the future, such as for medical problems or college tuition?

Does your divorce agreement deal with this in detail?

• What if your spouse agrees to pay child support, but dies unexpectedly?

Have you provided for this, such as through a legally mandated life insurance policy?

If your head is spinning, it should be. Because the legal and financial implications of even the most simple, uncontested divorce can be profound.

You get what you pay for, and the legal consequences of doing a divorce on the cheap with an online kit can be very costly indeed.

Click Here For more information on The Law Corner’s Family Law Services.

The Law Corner: Raleigh Divorce Attorneys

Brian Demidovich primarily focuses in Raleigh family mediation and the other Raleigh lawyers at The Law Corner can help you with a fast and simple no-fault or uncontested divorce. However, we are also there to represent you in the most difficult divorce situations too. With experience in and out of the courtroom, we can help you with your divorce — no matter what.

As you may know, in North Carolina, almost all divorce cases require you to live separately for a total of one year. For more information, The Law Corner divorce attorneys in Raleigh can help explain the divorce process to you and help you with other divorce related issues, to include, but not limited to, the following:

Raleigh Mediation Attorney

Bankruptcy & Divorce in North Carolina

Raleigh Credit Card Debt & Divorce Attorney

Raleigh Uncontested or Absolute Divorce Attorney

Raleigh Collaborative Law Attorney

Raleigh Equitable Distribution of Property Lawyer

Raleigh Alimony and Spousal Support Lawyer

Raleigh Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Raleigh Domestic Violence, Stalking and Harassment

Raleigh Legal Separation & Separation Agreements

Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)

Child Support and Modifications Lawyer in Raleigh

Child Visitation and Rights Attorney in Raleigh, NC

Abuse, Neglect & Dependency

Self-Help Clinic in Raleigh, NC

The Law Corner Attorneys help people all over Wake County to include the following areas: KnightdaleWake ForestRaleighMorrisvilleApexWendellZebulonNew HopeCaryRolesvilleFuquay-VarinaHolly Springs, and Garner.

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