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Personal and Professional Legal Services in the Heart of Vermont

What are the problems with a do-it-yourself divorce?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2023 | Divorce |

Couples may think that a do-it-yourself divorce is the cheapest, and therefore best, way to end their marriage. However, a do-it-yourself divorce oftentimes ends up costing a person much more in the long run than they would pay had they sought professional assistance from the get-go.

How difficult can it be?

How difficult can getting divorced be? A simple Internet search uncovers a multitude of do-it-yourself divorce options. The Vermont Judiciary even has an entire overview of the divorce process on its website.

Actually, a divorce in Vermont is a complex undertaking. Vermont divorce laws are unlike those of other states. A simple Google search will likely not help you better understand how Vermont laws apply to your specific case.

It takes a professional to properly interpret Vermont statutes and case law and apply them to your divorce. Getting the law wrong can lead to mistakes that come back to bite you in the future in the form of additional motions and hearings. All this costs time, stress and, yes, extra money.

Can you really represent yourself?

You know what you want out of your divorce. Maybe you and your spouse even think that you can divorce amicably. Why not do it yourselves?

Well, as the divorce process unfolds you might find you have needs and wants you did not initially anticipate. Now you need to advocate for your interests, but advocating for yourself is not as easy as it might seem.

Divorce is an emotionally turbulent time, and you might find it difficult to think with a clear head. You might not know how to effectively negotiate an agreement that is in your interests. This could result in a divorce decree that is not what you want or is even patently unfair to you.

In the end, seeking help with your divorce might cost more than a do-it-yourself divorce on its face. But mistakes made doing it yourself can mean you have to pay to fix them down the road. Moreover, having an advocate in your corner who knows the law, can see the forest from the trees and can provide effective representation in negotiations and in court proceedings can be invaluable.