Do You Need a Lawyer to File for Divorce in California?
No, you do not need a lawyer to file for divorce in California, but it is strongly recommended that you secure legal representation for your divorce. Even if you are dealing with an uncontested divorce, and you and your former spouse are in total agreement, an experienced lawyer is an invaluable resource that can help ensure that your best interests are prioritized and that all your court documents are filled out and filed correctly.
Keep reading to learn more about why you should avoid a DIY divorce and the benefits of working with a skilled attorney.
How Filing Mistakes Can Impact Your Divorce
When filing for divorce, you have to adhere to very specific legal procedures and meet required filing dates. Failure to do so can result in lengthy delays in the divorce process and may even impact the outcome of your divorce. It is not unheard of for filing and other mistakes to cause a divorce to stretch out for months or even years.
Ultimately, mistakes made when pursuing a do-it-yourself divorce can end up costing you money. Often, people seek legal counsel anyway, and you may even have to start the process all over. You may even have to appeal the original divorce decree if your divorce was processed incorrectly because of mistakes made when responding to summons or missed filing dates. You may have even heard horror stories about people who mistakenly entered bigamous marriages later on because of a mistake with their divorce.
All of this can be avoided by working with an experienced attorney right from the start.
Make Sure Your Best Interests Are Protected
Between custody agreements, support orders, and property division, there are many moving parts to the divorce process. Working out how to handle these issues can be very difficult. It is normal to have a lot of questions about this process, and even if you and your spouse generally agree, working on these agreements can be stressful and anxiety-inducing.
Common questions that arise during a divorce:
- What should be included in a parenting plan?
- What is the best custody arrangement and visitation schedule for my family?
- Are the courts likely to approve this custody & child support agreement?
- Is this property division plan truly fair and equitable?
- Should I push for spousal support?
By working with a skilled attorney, like ours at Burch Shepard Family Law Group, you have access to our extensive resources and the support of a lawyer that is dedicated to you and your case. When we work with a client, their best interests are our number one priority.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Every divorce is different, and most people only go through the process once. If you are considering a divorce, this is probably the first time you have had to deal with legal procedures and the courts in this way. A lot of people find this very daunting. When something unexpected happens with your divorce, you may not know how to respond.
There are a lot of things that people don’t expect or consider when going through a divorce. For example, many people don’t account for the tax consequences of their divorce or how property division can lead to unexpected financial issues post-divorce. Similarly, there are specialized court requirements that you may be unaware of and not know how to respond to when they crop up.
Furthermore, even if you believe that you and your former partner are in total agreement, it is not uncommon for disputes to arise after the fact. These can throw you for a loop, and you may struggle with how to resolve them. This often forces people into a position where they have to litigate the matter in court. Having a lawyer by your side during this process is incredibly helpful.A knowledgeable lawyer can use their experience to help you prepare for all of these things. Informed legal counsel does more than just give you peace of mind. Your lawyer is your go-to resource for any questions or support you need during the divorce process and beyond. To discuss your case with an experienced lawyer today, reach out to our law firm.