As you approach the process of divorce, you may consider your situation and decide that you can do this. You do not need to spend extra money for some lawyer to fill out a few pages of paperwork and to file them for you, right? You and your spouse—despite the fact that your marriage is ending—get along well enough to get through the process without any major problems. It is exactly this type of thinking that leads many people to skip hiring an attorney, ultimately resulting in costly mistakes, the effects of which can last for years to come.
Slowing Down the Proceedings
Even if you manage to file for divorce on your own, the process is just getting started. Do you know what comes next? Judges and court staffers around the country report that those who represent themselves in a divorce often require extra help in understanding expectations, timelines, deadlines, and other necessary elements of the divorce. This not only puts a strain on the resources of the court, but it can also dramatically increase the time it will take to complete the divorce.
Forfeited Property Rights
According to Illinois law, almost any property that you or your spouse acquired during the marriage is considered marital property during divorce. For some couples, the marital estate can be quite substantial. If you decide to move out and start the divorce process without a lawyer, there is a good chance that your spouse will claim a much larger portion of your marital property than would be equitable under the law. For example, the law says that you may be entitled to a portion of your spouse’s retirement savings, but without an attorney to help you draft the necessary documents, you may find yourself missing out on thousands of dollars.
Limited Parental Responsibilities
Do you have children with your spouse? If so, you should be aware that the laws regarding parental responsibilities (child custody) and parenting time (visitation) can be very complex. Unfortunately, those who choose to forego an attorney often end up with fewer rights and responsibilities regarding their children. While you may be able to reach an informal agreement with your spouse, it is very easy to overlook important considerations, which can be detrimental to your children’s well-being.
Learn More Today
These are just a few of the dangers that face those who refuse to hire a lawyer for their divorce. There are, as you might expect, many others that could arise during the process. To learn more or to discuss your case with an experienced Orland Park divorce attorney, contact our office. Call 708-518-8200 for a free consultation with Kezy & Associates today.