Getting divorced is an emotional and frustrating process that most people don’t want to think about. Unfortunately, divorce is the only option for many couples. When pursuing a divorce, you may be thinking about using do-it-yourself divorce kits.
A DIY-divorce kit allows you to handle your divorce and all the paperwork that goes along with it yourself without an attorney. While a DIY approach might seem like less of a hassle, using a do-it-yourself kit has many risks.
If your relationship meets the grounds for a divorce as outlined by Texas Family Code Chapter Six that means one of these instances factors into your case.
- Conviction of a felony
- Living apart
- Confinement to a mental hospital
An attorney can help protect your interests. For more information about the risks a do-it-yourself divorce in Texas, read on.
Pitfalls in Parenting Plan
If you have children, one of the most important reasons you need an attorney is to protect them. For those who have children and file for a divorce, you will have to fill out a parenting plan as part of your divorce paperwork. A parenting plan is a court order that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each parent. According to Texas Code 153.601, a parenting plan is meant to “optimize the development of a close and continuing relationship between each parent and the child.”
When it comes to a parenting plan, the things usually most contested in a divorce are child support and child custody. Handling your parenting plan without input from an attorney may make it more difficult to handle any complications that arise to ensure you exercise your rights and create a plan that’s in your child’s best interests.
Incomplete Provisions in Marital Settlement Agreement
Another common problem that those using do-it-yourself divorce kits often face is incomplete provisions in a marital settlement agreement. While most people assume that if the court accepted the paperwork it must have been completed properly, this can be a misconception.
When sections in a marital settlement agreement are left incomplete or are filled out incorrectly, you may be left with more or less than you were bargaining for. For example, you may fail to list all of your assets, including retirement funds, and debts.
The Divorce Could Become Contested
In addition to mistakes in the parenting plan and incomplete provisions in the settlement agreement, divorce paperwork has many nuanced and confusing legal terms and requirements. This can lead to complications that could make the divorce a contested one, as opposed to an uncontested one.
In the event that things are contested – meaning that you and your spouse cannot agree on the terms of the divorce – things can get messy and do-it-yourself divorce kits may not be sufficient. When a divorce is contested, mediation may be required, settlement negotiations will have to occur, and if you don’t have an attorney, you may be at a disadvantage.
When filing for a divorce, it’s important that paperwork is as specific and accurate as possible. Generalities, missing information, or incorrect statements can be detrimental to your case.
Seek the Help of a Divorce Attorney
If you’re ready to file for divorce in Dallas, a divorce attorney can be your most important resource. An attorney will guide you through all of the complicated steps that filing for divorce includes, and will counsel you throughout the process. When it comes time for negotiations and settlements, an attorney will work to make sure you get what you deserve.
At the Law Office of Julie Johnson, P.L.L.C., our attorneys are ready to fight for your rights. To speak with one of our attorneys today, call us now at 214-265-7630.