A DIY divorce is risky.DIY divorce kits may seem like a quick and easy way to end your marriage, but they can be dangerous. Without legal counsel, you may overlook issues related to the distribution of marital assets, child support, child custody, and other matters that could have lasting consequences. 

A divorce settlement is a legally binding court order, so mistakes made during the DIY divorce process can be difficult to correct. Seeking guidance from Hampton Roads divorce lawyer Lu Aloupas now helps prevent future problems that could put you and your children at risk. 

DIY Divorce Dangers

Some may contemplate taking the DIY route when it comes to a divorce, hoping to save money or evade what they think are the complications of working with an attorney. However, there are significant financial, legal, and emotional risks associated with attempting a DIY divorce. 

Financial Risks

While it might seem like handling your own divorce could save you money upfront, mistakes made during the process can lead to costly consequences down the line. For example:

Failing to properly divide assets and debts can result in unfair settlements that leave one spouse at a severe disadvantage.

Inaccurate child support or spousal support payment calculations can create ongoing financial burdens.

Misunderstanding tax implications related to property division can lead to unexpected liabilities.

Legal Risks

Navigating complex family law statutes without professional guidance increases the likelihood of making errors that could negatively affect your case outcome. Legal risks associated with a DIY divorce include:

Filing incorrect divorce paperwork or missing deadlines may cause delays in finalizing your divorce or even the dismissal of your case altogether.

Omitting important information from court documents might jeopardize custody arrangements or marital property distribution agreements later on if discovered by opposing counsel during litigation.

If your case involves special challenges such as domestic violence or an active duty military spouse, you'll need someone to advocate for your interests and protect your rights. 

Emotional Risks

Divorce is an emotionally draining experience, and attempting to handle the legal aspects of your case without professional support can exacerbate stress levels. For example:

You and your former spouse may have increased conflict due to misunderstandings or disagreements over legal matters.

Prolonged emotional distress caused by delays in resolving issues or uncertainty about the outcome of your case can make it difficult to stay focused at work.

Family issues related to your divorce may increase the risk of your children acting out in frustration.

Not fully understanding the implications of decisions made during the divorce process can make moving forward with a new relationship more challenging. 

Common Mistakes Made During the Divorce Process

Attempting a DIY divorce can be tempting, especially considering potential cost savings. Nonetheless, it is essential to recognize that DIY divorce carries its own risks and issues. 

Failing to Understand the Law

The legal system is complex, and family law in Virginia is no exception. Without professional guidance, it is your responsibility to understand the intricacies of Virginia's family law, including property division rules, child custody arrangements, and spousal support calculations.

Not Knowing Your Rights and Responsibilities

In addition to understanding Virginia's family laws, it is essential to know your rights and responsibilities as a spouse going through separation proceedings. For example:

You must provide accurate financial information about income levels.

Your marital assets need proper valuation.

You should negotiate fairly regarding child custody arrangements based on what is best for them.

You need awareness about possible tax implications from asset transfers or alimony payments.

Neglecting Important Details or Documents

Another common mistake during a DIY divorce is overlooking crucial details or failing to submit necessary documents on time. This can include:

Forgetting to list all marital assets

Failing to account for debts and liabilities

Not filing the required paperwork with the court within deadlines

Neglecting these aspects of your case may result in delays, additional costs, and even legal penalties. 

Why You Need Legal Representation for Your Virginia Divorce

At Aloupas Law, we are well-versed in all aspects of Virginia divorce matters, including mediation techniques that may help avoid lengthy court battles while still achieving favorable results for our clients. In cases where litigation becomes necessary, we will work tirelessly on your behalf both inside and outside the courtroom. Here’s what to expect when you work with us: 

Guidance. We provide clear explanations of each step involved in the divorce process so that you feel informed about what lies ahead.

Support. We help our clients manage the emotional challenges that often accompany divorce so that they can move forward with their lives and seek the happiness they deserve. 

Communication. We maintain open lines of communication with our clients, ensuring they are always up-to-date on their case's progress and understand any developments or changes in strategy.