What Are the Risks of Representing Yourself in a Divorce Case?

Facing a divorce means that you must make the decision to hire an attorney or represent yourself. Before you make this decision, it is important to consider the risks of representing yourself in a divorce case. Continue reading to learn these risks and more.

What are the risks of representing yourself during asset division?

There are many factors and steps in a divorce that cannot be done without thorough analysis and number crunching. The following steps in your divorce must be completed without mistakes:

  • Determining tax ramifications
  • Running child support and alimony formulas
  • Dividing complex assets such as stock portfolios and retirement plans

It is also important to consider the fact that if your spouse has hired an attorney while you are representing yourself, their attorney’s training and experience in asset division and divorce finances can give them an upper hand. When an attorney presents you with an offer, you may lack the knowledge to properly evaluate the offer and its details. This could jeopardize your future and set you up for years of financial distress. This may be seen in the form of unfair support payments or missed asset opportunities.

What are the risks of representing yourself during custody disagreements?

The following mistakes can be made by attempting to resolve custody negotiations on your own:

  • Failing to recognize the meaning of sole legal custody: If your spouse’s attorney offers shared physical custody and sole legal custody for their client, it is important to understand that by agreeing to this, you will not have a say in decisions related to your child’s medical care, schooling, religious upbringing, and more.
  • You may be opening yourself up to false accusations: If your spouse lies to the court about your character, you may not be equipped to defend yourself against these false accusations. This is why having an attorney in your corner is beneficial. They will build a strong case to expose the dishonesty.
  • You may not be in the right mindset: Representing yourself during a custody battle can be difficult to not let your emotions get in the way. This may be the most complex and personal legal matter you will ever have to face in your life. You will not want to allow your emotions to hurt your case. An attorney will advocate for you and be your voice when matters get tough.

Contact our experienced Peoria County divorce lawyer if you have any further questions.

Contact Our Experienced Illinois Firm

At Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C., our divorce lawyer will help you navigate the divorce or family law matter you are facing. We provide effective and compassionate legal counsel for the following legal matters: divorce, alimony, division of marital assets, child custody, and child support. Contact us today.

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