Besides the emotional strain, going through a divorce is a financial drain. In fact, in 2012, the average cost of a divorce was about $15,000. This is in addition to the fact that personal property is often split between the two parties. With this financial burden in mind, some divorcing couples in Colorado are considering a “do-it-yourself divorce,” in hopes to avoid the monetary problems that a traditional divorce can cause. DIY divorce involves finding and filling out the necessary legal documents and filing them out without the advice or use of an attorney.
While this may seem ideal, especially from a financial perspective, there is a lot more to this than what it seems. First off, there is a reason that attorneys need to go to years of law school and pass a difficult exam to even begin practicing law in the state of Colorado: the law is a complex thing. This complexity is compounded even more when you consider the ins and outs and the nuances of each and every divorce. By engaging in a do-it-yourself divorce, couples may be unaware of important aspects to the divorce and unknowingly create problems.
Couples may wonder what issues could really arise from do-it-yourself divorce. First off, there is a common misunderstanding about the law. The state mandates that equitable distribution be followed in divorce proceedings. There is a difference between the word equitable with equal. Equitable may be described as fair and the legal system has many laws that help designate what is fair. A lawyer-free divorce could short change one party or wrongly saddle one of the spouses with personal debts from the other, causing years of financial difficulties. Compounding this problem is the fact that, once final, judges maybe hesitant to re-open a divorce case to correct any mistakes.
If you are thinking about a do-it-yourself divorce in Colorado, you may want to give it some serious thought. Even if you decide to go through the divorce without representation from an attorney, you may want to consider consulting with an attorney.