Statistics from a legal fees survey conducted by the Canadian Lawyer indicate that the cost of a divorce in Canada today can be as much as around $74,122, family lawyer services included. Doing the divorce paperwork yourself may seem like the best option since it would be cheaper. However, DIY divorce isn't for everybody. Here are three questions that can help you decide whether you need a family lawyer, or just your own typing ability, to file for divorce.
Are Both of You in Agreement About the Divorce?
Are both of you in agreement that divorce is the right thing? If you and your spouse both want to end the marriage, a DIY divorce might just make sense. An uncontested divorce is the cheapest way to go since you only have to pay for the court costs and the filing fee.
If your spouse doesn't want the divorce, you will need a family attorney to help you fight. A resistant spouse may attempt a number of legal maneuvers that could stop the divorce. You will need the family lawyer's expertise in divorce to fight for your right to divorce.
Did Your Spouse Make Serious Allegations?
If you and your spouse are fighting about the divorce, things often get very heated, very quickly. Sometimes, very serious allegations may even be made. If your spouse accuses you of physical or mental abuse, child abuse, or any other serious crime, you need the help of a family attorney. A DIY divorce just isn't possible when there is so much contention.
Accusations of physical or sexual abuse may result in criminal charges which will have serious ramifications even outside the divorce. If you are charged with such things, you may end up in jail if you don't have a top notch defense. Your family lawyer can act as the divorce attorney, as well as acting as your defense lawyer, if that becomes necessary.
Are You in Dispute Over Property?
Property disputes are quite common in divorce. However, there are times that spouses agree to split everything down the middle or in a way that both people are happy with. A situation where both people agree on how the property is divided may be ideal for a DIY divorce.
If you and your spouse are arguing over the property division, some skilled negotiation may be necessary if you want to hang on to what is yours. Your family lawyer will be able to draft a proposal that your spouse may agree to. At the very least, the proposal will be a good starting point for negotiations in which your lawyer will represent you.Share