Some may think that representing themselves in their divorce without an attorney will save them time. Before you make a decision about self-representation or a do-it-yourself divorce, be aware that mistakes and errors made when going this route can result in the exact opposite of what you want.
Your divorce may take much longer and in the end not result in the settlement you had hoped for. For example, making a do-it-yourself divorce mistake when dividing a pension asset may land you back in court four years later, and take much longer to try to undo when the mistake is finally uncovered. Your mistake may be impossible to undo.
At a minimum, sit down with a family law attorney to get a better understanding of your rights and options. If you don’t understand how mediation works, an attorney can fill you in. If you have specific questions about pressing concerns like child custody or spousal support, your attorney can help you formulate the most direct path to reaching a resolution.
A word of advice on choosing a lawyer: watch for any warnings or red flags that the attorney is pushing you toward litigation without having a firm understanding of your case or what you want. Since litigation will likely tie you up in court, shark attorneys know that they can make more money off your case. If you get that sense, move on. There are so many skilled family lawyers out there who truly have their client’s best interest at heart.
Don’t waste your time on one who doesn’t.
Bari Zell Weinberger is the owner and managing partner of Weinberger Law Group in New Jersey. She is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.