Do-It-Yourself Divorce: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

April 28, 2014

There is an old British saying that goes “penny wise, pound foolish.”  It refers to someone who goes to great lengths to save a little money (pennies), but ends up paying much more (pounds) later on.

There are some services that advocate a do-it-yourself divorce so you can save money.  However, like the British saying, a do-it-yourself divorce is not a good idea, and can end up costing you more than you ever imagined.

Divorce is a serious life-changing event that has implications on you, your spouse, and your children. Attempting to resolve intricate issues by a “fill in the blank” form just makes you foolish.  Of course, this coming from an attorney sounds self-serving.  But let me explain it in another way.

For example, if you become painfully sick, you have two options.  You could go directly to the pharmacy and try to find some over the counter medicine for your symptoms.  Or you could go to a doctor to be assessed and diagnosed and given a professional opinion on how to treat it.  Sometimes, even something that seems like it could be simple could be a grave disease.  Isn’t it best to find out for sure and to get the best advice?

Here is another example – buying the least expensive clothes isn’t always the smartest idea.  Digging through that pile of discount shirts may save you some money today.  But having to replace your shirts every season ends up costing you more than if you had bought quality shirts in the first place.

Even if your divorce case is not contested and (in your view) not complicated, then it shouldn’t be that expensive for an attorney to handle it for you and do things the right way. If you attempt to get divorced by a do-it-yourself form, and problems arise later, there is a good chance that an attorney will not be able to fix it.  The few pennies you try to save could end up costing you more down the road.  Just be smart and think about the future consequences.  You don’t want to walk around with holes in your shirts.

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