The Pros and Cons of Pro Se Divorce

If you’re getting ready to jump into the divorce process, saving as much money as possible may be one of your top priorities. It makes sense – you’re about to divide your assets more or less down the middle, so why not do everything you can to save wherever possible?

One option you may consider to save money is to avoid hiring an attorney. If you can work together amicably on your divorce, it may seem like the best decision you can make. Divorce attorneys come with a price tag, and if you don’t expect your divorce to become contentious then you may not see the benefits of having experienced legal assistance to help guide you through the process. However, you should be aware of the potential pitfalls that may come up during the process.

Self-represented divorce, also known as pro se divorce, comes with its own set of pros and cons that you need to consider before choosing that path.

Pros:

  • The Cost: attorneys provide years of knowledge and experience, but expert guidance comes at a price. If finances are one of the most important things you’re focusing on, there’s a chance that you could save a fair amount of money by foregoing their services entirely.
  • Less Stress: If you hope to maintain an amicable relationship with your spouse once the divorce is finalized, you may be worried about the potential strain an attorney could put on your relationship. By pursuing a pro se divorce, you can speak directly to your soon to be ex-spouse rather than through an attorney, which could help ease tensions. As long as you and your partner can behave rationally and fairly throughout the entire process, you may be able to secure a mutually beneficial and fast outcome to your divorce.

Cons:

  • Inexperience: Unless you went to law school and spent time as a practicing divorce attorney, you likely lack the knowledge and information necessary to make informed decisions throughout the divorce process. An experienced divorce attorney has spent their career honing their talents, and can help you understand any complexities and nuances you may face as well as help you handle any complications that arise.
  • Paperwork: Many people underestimate the sheer amount of paperwork that goes into a divorce. Every piece needs to be filled in correctly, and you need to closely examine every document and agreement to ensure that you aren’t agreeing to unfavorable or exploitative terms. An attorney can help make sure that everything is filled out and filed correctly, and guarantee that you aren’t inadvertently signing your life away.
  • Emotions: Even if you head into the divorce proceedings with a perfectly amicable relationship with your partner, it’s almost impossible to completely avoid the emotional strain that tends to accompany this process. As the stress continues to mount, you will become increasingly likely to make an ill-advised or rash decision. Divorce attorneys are trained to keep a certain emotional distance, and can help you avoid these potential pitfalls by providing you with a grounded and analytical set of eyes.
  • Complications: Just because you started the divorce process expecting an uncontested divorce, it does not mean that issues or complications won’t come up that compromise that idea. If you and your soon to be ex-spouse are unable to agree on the terms on your own, you may be required to head to court to settle your disputes. Even if you have experience in a courtroom, going in alone could lead to an unfavorable outcome.

At Givens Givens Sparks, our Tampa divorce attorneys have spent decades assisting families and individuals navigate these types of situations in order to ensure they can move on to the next phase of their lives with a beneficial outcome. With over 135 years of experience, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands when you turn to us for help. Give us a call at (813) 336-3348 to speak with a member of our firm, or fill out our online form to request a case evaluation today.

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