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The dangers of DIY divorce

Divorce has gained much attention lately as the divorce rate remains high in the U.S. With so many people facing divorce, some have started to try and find ways to save as much money as they can by getting a divorce without a lawyer.

Do-it-yourself divorces may save people some money but in the long run, not having a divorce attorney on their side may actually create more financial problems and concerns long after their divorce has been finalized.

Getting divorced can be complicated, especially if the couple owns property together or if they have children. Divorce requires couples to negotiate a settlement that determines how their assets will be distributed along with other issues that most couples deal with, including alimony and other financial issues.

All people getting divorced benefit from using a divorce attorney during their settlement negotiations. An attorney can make sure property and other assets are being divided according to state law as well as make sure other financial situations are considered during the divorce proceedings. Couples with children should be sure to consult a divorce attorney to help both parties reach an agreement regarding child custody, visitation and support.

While it may seem enticing to try and get a divorce without an attorney, individuals often regret not consulting a legal expert during their divorce because it is much easier to make sure the divorce settlement is correct to begin with than to take it back to court to try and get a modification, especially since many issues are considered "final" once it has been negotiated and finalized in the divorce settlement.

Source: Gazette, "It's Your Money: Do-it-yourself divorce could be cause for regret," Linda Leitz, March 10, 2013

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