In general, there are four “categories” of divorce. Each divorce is unique, and each of these methods are utilized in unique ways, but they are dividable into these types: do-it-yourself divorce, mediated divorce, collaborative divorce, and litigated divorce. This post will discuss the pros and cons of a do-it-yourself divorce and litigated divorce. Each of these methods are polar extremes of one another, and the contrasts of each method will elucidate the benefits and detractions of each.
Do-it-yourself divorce (or “DIY divorce”) is essentially a standard divorce but without lawyers. At first, you might think this is a very good idea, but it is important that you proceed cautiously. Divorce is a complicated endeavor, and there are many pitfalls to which you may become entrapped.
DIY divorce is best if you were married for a short time, own very few assets, and have no children. The larger your income and the more stuff you own, the more complicated divorces become. Moreover, you also run the risk of not settling all of the issues, which could open you up to future litigation. If you do proceed with a DIY divorce, at least ask a lawyer to review the divorce agreement before you submit it to the court.
Litigated divorces involve attorneys but not necessarily the courtroom. The best attorneys compromise and try to arrive at a fair resolution to all parties. The benefit of a litigated divorce is, essentially, avoiding all of the issues present in DIY divorces. The one primary drawback is the longer your divorce takes to finalize, the more expensive it may become.
Contrary to popular belief, divorces don’t all end with two attorneys yelling at each other and the judge. There are many alternative and mitigated divorce methods that may be suitable for your situation. But it is important that you don’t grab at the cheapest or simplest option. You may want to speak with a lawyer to review the pros and cons of each method to ensure that you are using the method best suited for you.