Going through a divorce is much like any other business transaction, only with more emotion attached. The goal of a divorce is to end a marriage and leave all parties in the fairest situation as possible. To do this as easily and smoothly as possible, you need to work with a good attorney to ensure all loose ends are tied up. Some people choose to divorce without contacting a law firm to hire an attorney. If you do this, you need to understand the possible repercussions that can occur, including the following:
The Process Will Take Longer
One disadvantage of not using an attorney for your divorce is that it can take much longer. Many delays can occur if all parties involved are not clear on all the steps and necessary paperwork required for a divorce.
If only one of you uses an attorney, that attorney will have to correspond with the person representing him or herself for various reasons. Documents will need to be signed, deadlines set, meetings arranged, and the like. If any of these things get held up because the spouse with no attorney is unsure of all that goes along with divorce, it can cause the process to take much longer.
There is also the increased likelihood of mistakes that can cause delays. If one of you does not know the law or has no experience with handling a divorce, there is an increased chance of mistakes. There is no one to turn to if errors are made, so the progress will be halted while the unrepresented spouse seeks answers and other necessary information.
The Other Attorney Cannot Help
If you do not have an attorney and need help or advice, you will not get any answers from the attorney of the represented spouse. There is the opportunity for a conflict of interest if one seeks information from the other's attorney. By state law, one attorney cannot represent two different spouses in a divorce, as it can lead to unethical situations.
Feelings of Frustration
If you are the represented spouse and the other party is doing his or her own legal representation, there can be feelings of frustration. After all, he or she could be the cause of significant delays or other problems. In addition, when speaking before the judge, you may not be able to speak, but your spouse will. That can give you feelings of lost control, which is incredibly frustrating.