The Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Divorces in Mississippi

Given the shaky economy and seemingly ever rising expense of obtaining a divorce, more and more individuals are electing to divorce without the assistance of an attorney.  These do-it-yourselfers feel that by divorcing on their own, they will save substantial money in the process.  What they fail to recognize, however, is the potential long-term financial costs of foregoing an attorney, and the probable negative impact the absence of a lawyer can have on the entire divorce process.

The following list is designed to caution you before electing to proceed with a divorce pro se, or without an attorney:

  1. Divorces are never as “simple” as they appear to be: you may feel that because you and your spouse agree to the terms of your divorce, your divorce will be quick, simple, and painless.  After all, forms exist online that purport to provide you with all you need to obtain a divorce.  However, as any experienced divorce attorney will tell you, no divorce is as simple as it appears.  The agreement you and your spouse thought you reached often falls apart and you end up in tense negotiations with no end in sight.  You become overwhelmed with the myriad of court forms required and strict time deadlines for each.  You consent to something only to realize later it had negative tax implications you were unaware of.  This list goes on and on.  Divorce is nearly always a complicated process and even the “simplest” of divorces can be quite confusing and time consuming.  A knowledgeable divorce attorney can guide negotiations and handle all the filing of the many required forms, while ensuring deadlines are met and proper disclosures made.  A divorce attorney takes out the guess work and the stress for the layperson unfamiliar with intricate divorce law.
  2. You can cost yourself in the long-run: while foregoing a divorce attorney might appear to be an effective cost-saving method, this decision can cost you far more in the long-run then the initial savings.  Without the assistance of a divorce attorney, you may end up settling for far less than you deserve, waiving your right to alimony or property to which you are entitled.  Missing crucial deadlines or failing to provide requisite information can lengthen the divorce process, costing you more.  A skilled divorce attorney knows just what assets you may be entitled to and what debts you must shoulder.  Your divorce attorney will negotiate or, if necessary, argue in court on your behalf to ensure you reserve the monies and property to which you are entitled.  A layperson without knowledge of intricate alimony, child support, and property division laws is unlikely to be in the position to obtain the best outcome possible.
  3. Mistakes are often irreversible: often, in the legal world, mistakes cannot be undone.  If you miss a crucial deadline, your rights maybe waived.  If you agree to a settlement negotiation which the court accepts, you will not be able to later undo the agreement if you come to realize a mistake was made.  Further, once the court rules on an issue, your options to amend it are few and will most likely require the aid of an attorney.  These early stages in a divorce are crucial and there is no room for mistakes.  This makes it imperative to consult with an experienced divorce attorney who will ensure you do not inadvertently forfeit crucial rights.

Matthew S. Poole understands the expense involved in a divorce and recognizes the need to keep down costs.  He is a compassionate, experienced Mississippi divorce attorney that will strive to achieve your divorce with as little cost to you as possible.  Matthew S. Poole knows the intricacies of divorce law and will ensure your best interests are advocated for.

Call The Law Office of Matthew S. Poole today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a consultation.

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