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  • Catherine Becker Good

Divorce is not a Do-It-Yourself Project

I am often asked the question, “Do I need a divorce lawyer if my spouse and I agree on everything?” The answer to that question is “Yes.” While you and your spouse will be ahead of the game if you have reached a verbal agreement, it is advisable that you sit down and talk to an experienced divorce lawyer about all of the issues that need to be considered when going through a divorce. Oftentimes clients don’t realize that there are issues, such as: medical insurance, life insurance, tax deductions, college, etc., that need to be addressed in working out a complete divorce agreement. Perhaps the most important part of the divorce process is drafting a “Divorce Agreement” that not only includes the basic issues (division of assets, custody, support, etc.), but also anticipates changes in circumstances that may occur in the future and outlines what will happen should those changes occur. The worst scenario is to have a vague Agreement that speaks in general terms and that does not anticipate changes over time. As a trained and experienced divorce attorney, I know what specific language needs to be included in Divorce Agreements in order for them to be approved by the Court and to stand the test of time.

Divorce is not a “do it yourself” project. While there are a few basic forms that you can fill out on your own, the “Divorce Agreement” is a document that is unique to each couple. A well drafted Divorce Agreement will include provisions that reflect the individual facts of your particular case. No two divorces are the same. Similarly, no two Divorce Agreements should be the same, which is why it is essential to avoid using templates when drafting a Divorce Agreement.

Many people try to cut costs when filing for divorce, and that’s understandable, but trying to draft your own Agreement is what I consider to be penny wise and pound foolish. In the short run, you may save money upfront in drafting your own divorce paperwork, but in the long run, you will likely have to deal with the consequences of not having a professionally drafted Agreement. You may end up paying an attorney to either clarify the terms of the Agreement in a given situation or to address issues that weren’t included in the original Agreement.

When both parties agree on all issues, an uncontested divorce is an expeditious and cost-effective process. It is important to know, however, that in order to qualify for an uncontested divorce, both parties must agree on everything. No single issue can be in dispute.

Many firms will offer a discounted rate or a flat fee rate for drafting and filing an uncontested divorce; the upfront cost may be more affordable than you would expect and is money well spent.

Our office is here to help you with your divorce when both parties agree, or even when both parties disagree on a few issues. We can explain the process to you from start to finish and assist you in filing for an uncontested divorce. Please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment for a free consultation a with divorce lawyer to discuss your case.

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