There are actually very few divorces which lend themselves to being totally do-it-yourself. If the marriage is of short duration with no children and no assets, a do-it-yourself divorce is probably not going to cause too many problems. However, as soon as there is any significant amount of property or there are children involved, or the parties have been married for a long period of time, there are numerous hidden issues which may not come to light until after the divorce is final and it is too late to do anything about them. A consultation with an attorney at the beginning of the divorce process can often highlight these issues so that the client can avoid future pitfalls. At least one consultation with an attorney is advisable in every case even when the parties are going to handle the divorce themselves.
Robert C. Howard, partner of Jekel, Howard & Thomson, LLP, has practiced family law in Arizona for more than 35 years, with concentration on prenuptual agreements, divorce, paternity, and post-decree modification matters.