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DIY Divorce Is Never a Good Idea

By Sheryl Rentz on July 18, 2019

stack of purple files

Reaching the decision to divorce your spouse is never an easy one. For many couples seeking to dissolve a marriage in Pennsylvania, the process can be daunting. Emotions run high, and money can be stretched thin. Most divorcing couples simply want the process to be over with as quickly and cheaply as possible, which is why some go the route of DIY divorce.

There are websites that offer a downloadable document kit, or DIY instructional tools that only cost a few hundred dollars. And if you run into any bumps in the road, can’t you just use the internet to figure out your next steps? This may seem like a good way to cut to the chase and get a divorce completed quickly, but a lot can and probably will go wrong without an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney to guide you.

Here at the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., we have seen time and time again how DIY divorce attempts end up taking longer to complete, costing more money in the long run. Many couples butt heads and end up needing the services of an attorney sooner or later. Here are a few reasons DIY divorce is a bad idea.

Filing for Divorce Is Not Easy to Do on Your Own

If you are not familiar with the local courts and their requirements, then the filing process can be an endless stream of re-dos and hold-ups that can delay the divorce decree.  In Pennsylvania, even though the filing requirements are uniform throughout each county due to state law, there are still details that are exclusive to each county under its own court procedures. If the couple is unaware of these details, they could be tied up in the divorce process for months to come.

Improperly filed, inaccurate, or incomplete documents can cause a significant delay in the divorce process as the court systems are often backlogged with cases. One mistake or missing field can result in weeks or even months of delayed proceedings. Don’t wait any longer than you have to by being endlessly bogged down in court due to unnecessary errors.

Most DIY Kits are Just Stacks of Downloadable Forms

A simple internet search will produce dozens of DIY divorce kits that promise to provide customers with all the necessary documentation to execute a divorce themselves for a fee. Most people who purchase these packs don’t get what they ought to for their money. Many of these services provide documents that are already free to the public, and do not provide any guidance on how to properly fill them out or submit them. But of course, they all have the necessary disclaimers that you should “talk to a lawyer” for the most up-to-date information. Well, you should.

The Couple’s Responsibilities Must be Satisfied Under Pennsylvania Law

Divorce in Pennsylvania requires that the divorcing couple split all assets and debts in an equitable manner, that child custody be determined and visitation set, and that spousal support be provided where necessary in a way that is fair to all parties. Determining property division and child custody can have long-ranging financial and emotional consequences for everyone involved. A Pennsylvania family law judge will only approve a divorce agreement that meets the standards set by state law. In the long run, it pays off to be advised of your rights and responsibilities by legal counsel at the outset of any divorce proceeding.

Call Our Montgomery County Family Law Attorneys

Divorce can be a difficult process fraught with emotions, and trying to go through the process without legal help can only make it more difficult. A veteran divorce lawyer is necessary to make sure your divorce is completed in a fair manner. Sheryl R. Rentz and her team can examine your case and see how to best approach your legal negotiations. To learn more about your options in a free consultation, please call (610) 645-0100 and see how we can help.

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