Many people in New Orleans and around the country have been facing financial challenges, and do not want to take on extra, unnecessary expenses. When it comes to daily activities, many will try to make ends meet by prioritizing only the most essential needs. Trying to have DIY divorce, however, can be short-sighted and lead to negative outcomes for the future.
Divorce is a major event for a family, and whether people are trying to make smart financial decisions or struggling to meet the emotional demands of the children, it can be overwhelming. While it may seem simpler to go it alone, there are important reasons why this may not be the best route to go if you are going through a divorce.
The financial aspects of divorce
Although people usually marry for love, when they divorce, much of the procedure involves finances. Louisiana is a community property state, meaning that by law the court will divide all marital property equally unless the spouses have come to a different agreement.
There are many legal questions that may arise during the inventorying of marital assets, such as:
- what is communal and what is separate
- whether to sell certain assets and split the proceeds, or trade items of equal value
- what valuation method is used to assess a business
- an accounting of all assets, including insurance policies
The distribution of assets also gets complicated if only one spouse works or if one has sole custody of the children. In this case, they may want to keep the family home. In addition, both sides will have to work out child custody and spousal support, and there are many factors that go into deciding how much these awards will be.
Going to court without legal support
Divorce proceedings can be complicated and contentious. And if one party goes in pro se, or alone, they will be facing their soon-to-be ex, who may very well have hired an attorney. The judge will not give special treatment to the pro se party, and the stress of following court procedures for motions, forms and deadlines can be overwhelming. If the pro se party submits incomplete information, for example, this could negatively influence the judge’s final ruling.
Having legal assistance will allow you to develop a bigger picture of your needs and goals and, when necessary, process conflicting emotions during the process, with the assurance that your attorney is focused on the law and the procedures that will ensure an outcome protecting both your rights and your interests.