"Self Divorce" vs.
Hiring an Attorney
When considering termination of a marriage, there are three options for seeking advice. You can do a self divorce, you can get help from a divorce paralegal, or you can hire a family law attorney.
The “self-divorce” method means that you rely on the information that you gather from books and the internet and from family and friends. You don’t pay anything to anyone for advice. You might say that I’m biased (because I’m a family law attorney), but I find that people who do this generally make a mess of things.
Some of the problems that can occur include never finalizing a divorce, assigning unequal assets, paying or receiving the wrong amount of child support, and many, many others.
For this reason, some people who are trying to save money go to a divorce paralegal. They think they are getting legal advice. But a paralegal is a paraprofessional. Under California law, they are not permitted to give legal advice. Unless they are working under the direction of an attorney, the only thing they are supposed to do is type papers that you’ve already filled out.
Again, you could say that I have only my interests in mind, but relying on a divorce paralegal does not give you a big leg up vs. talking to your friends and family.
I believe that parties are best off when they are represented by a family law attorney. You don’t have to hire me – but you should consult with someone.
Many people think that attorneys are too expensive. (Believe me, mistakes are much more expensive). There are many ways to keep down costs, see the page on attorneys fees to figure out how to minimize your expenses.
Many family law attorneys, myself included, will assist pro per petitioners with paperwork and advice for a small fee.
So, are you going to do a “self divorce”? Are you going to visit a divorce paralegal? Or are you going to do things right and at least visit an attorney? You can get a free consultation with me by calling 877-369-5294.
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