I Can’t Afford a Divorce: How to DIY a Divorce

The internet and our technologically advanced world have given us all the knowledge we need at a fingertip. You could teach yourself to do just about anything online if the moment required and for many couples strapped for cash, that includes handling their own divorce. As the economy continues to push the finances of many people over a cliff, finding ways to save money and avoid spending where possible, couples opt for DIY divorces. If you and your soon to be ex are trying to save money and you want an uncontested divorce, while you can find all the resources you need online, there are still some pitfalls that you need to be aware of, so your DIY divorce savings don’t turn into a financial disaster.

Don’t fall victim to these DIY divorce mistakes; they could cost you a bundle:

  1. Wrong Paperwork, Wrong Filing Dates, Wrong Office: It’s easy to assume the courthouse you’ve used for other issues is the same one for filing your documents. It’s also easy to assume that you don’t need to file agreements or countless other divorce details, but the reality is that you can’t assume anything. Find out for sure. You need to call the buildings and ask questions. If you aren’t sure where to file something, look it up and know for sure. Your divorce may seem simple and easy, but it’s still a divorce, and if you want it processed and finalized, you have to submit the proper forms, meet the requirements outlined in Pennsylvania law, and make any required deadlines. Assuming and not verifying will cost you time, which is money.
  1. Misreading or Failing to Understand the Basics of Divorce Law: You don’t need to know the whole of divorce law to DIY your divorce, but you will need to know the portion that will pertain to your case. If your case is simple, then you will only need to know what you are entitled to and your basic rights, but if there are children involved or you have assets or debts that will need to be divided, you’d do well to know what the law says about those topics.
  1. Taxes, Taxes, and Taxes: Not considering your situation's tax implications or how a divorce settlement could impact your finances can lead to regret. When it’s time to pay taxes, issues of alimony, child support, investment and retirement accounts, or property liquidations can lead to hefty tax liabilities. You do not want to be caught off-guard by these scenarios, so it’s important to consider your taxes as you work to reach a divorce settlement.
  1. Failure to Think Ahead: Whether you were married 12 years or 12 months, it’s easy to become accustomed to sharing resources and expenses. Once the divorce is finalized, couples must begin thinking of their future budget. It can be difficult to think ahead to what you may need since you are not yet living that life, but you cannot base your future needs on your present circumstances. This also applies to thinking ahead for the future as you divide and liquidate assets. You can’t think in the now. You must think about creating two separate households, how that will look, and the financial requirements for that reality to come to fruition.

You can certainly complete a DIY divorce, at Cairns Law Offices, we specialize in no-fault divorces for only $219. If the idea of a low-cost, amicable divorce appeals to you, call us today at (888) 863-9115 to schedule a consultation.

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