I’ve been noticing a trend lately in the divorce realm. Although my practice is based in Cary, North Carolina, I strongly suspect that this trend is not unique to my family law practice. More and more clients are coming to me for an their initial divorce assessment, taking the information I give them to go back and draft up their own settlement agreement, and then come back to me for advice and to give it a quick once-over. Lot’s of people think that this approach saves them money because I don’t have to spend as much time working on their case.
Unfortunately, these folks are missing the big picture of what I do as a family law attorney. I’ve written before about the problems inherent in trying to draft up your own agreement or using a service such as legal zoom. If it was as easy as just taking some information and drafting an agreement, there would be no need for us divorce lawyers. However, what you are paying for is legal advice and guidance within the context of your unique situation.
There are only so many ways one can divide up a house. Either the husband or wife can take it, or it can be sold. But how this works within the context of your case, and whether one alternative makes more sense from a legal standpoint can only be answer by a lawyer. I’ve had lots of client’s come to me trying the “Do it yourself” approach, only to find out that it is going to take more time and money to undo what they have done than if they would have just hired a lawyer in the first place.
Does this mean that everyone needs a lawyer to assist with their family law or divorce case? Absolutely not. And I’ve told lots of people this who have come to see me for a Divorce Assessment. (Some even push me to let them hire me even after I’ve told them they don’t need a lawyer!) But if you are in the group that needs a lawyer (I discuss who you are in my Free Divorce Guide), then do the right thing and get a lawyer to help you – before it is too late.