DIY divorce plagued with problems

On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Divorce on Monday, August 19, 2013.

People who attempt to save money by getting a divorce without a lawyer may be in for a rude awakening. Once a person files for a divorce pro se, the judge is unable to provide legal advice regarding the divorce. Additionally, Chicago spouses may be at a disadvantage if they do not have an attorney but their spouse does.

Sites are popping up on the Internet that allow users to input information that allows them to prepare documents for their divorce without legal consultation. Additionally, some popular Internet sites to advertise that they can prepare making divorce paperwork without having any legal background. However, not having an attorney can make the divorce more complicated for the spouse who does not have legal counsel. For example, a lawyer will generally know how to properly object, and this process allows the lawyer to have certain evidence excluded from the case that the judge will not be able to weigh during deliberations.

Using divorce preparation services found on the Internet can pose other problems. The legal ethics in each state generally preclude non-lawyers to dispense legal advice. Whether or not filling out a form is legal advice would be determined by the judge hearing the case. Additionally, not having legal consultation may make people agree to terms that they do not want because no one is there to explain the proceedings. They may later find that they were bilked out of property or that they have agreed to child custody terms that they could have fought.

Chicago family law attorneys may be able to assist individuals going through divorce. They may be able to give them advice and explain their options through each step of the process so that a spouse can make informed decisions.

Source: Huffington Post, “DIY Divorce: Why You Should Think Twice Before Divorcing Without A Lawyer“, August 14, 2013