You do not need a lawyer to get a divorce in Colorado, but you risk a bad settlement if you do it by yourself.
For some people, a D-I-Y divorce makes sense, but for most people, it does not. Many of our clients who go back to court after their divorce is final are people who did not get a lawyer during the initial divorce. That’s why it’s a good idea to talk to a reputable divorce lawyer from the outset about your unique circumstances. They’ll let you know whether you could benefit from legal counsel or if you can save the money and go through the process on your own.
Is a D-I-Y Divorce Feasible for Me?
For couples who have only been married for a short time, have few assets, and do not share children, a D-I-Y divorce might work for them.
For most everyone else, we typically do not recommend you try to handle a divorce on your own.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Divorce?
Finding, Valuing, and Dividing Your Assets
If you’ve been married for more than a few years, you and your spouse have likely accumulated some assets. You probably already know that part of the divorce process is to value and divide them up. But, what about discovering assets your spouse has that you may not be aware of? A divorce lawyer can help you uncover any potentially hidden assets. They can also help you with arguments surrounding the valuation of your assets.
Most divorces are not straightforward. Some people try to hide assets. Other people try to inflate or devalue assets to benefit them in the settlement.
Even if you are aware that these types of issues can crop up, would you know how to address them? A family law attorney can help you navigate these types of problems and many more.
Having a Lawyer at Mediation Can Get You a Better Outcome
Even though most cases come down to a final orders hearing, there are numerous occasions when you’re going to want a divorce attorney on your side.
Take mediation, for instance. When you bring a lawyer with you to mediation, you have someone who will look out for your best interests. The mediator cannot do that. That’s not his or her role. Your lawyer, on the other hand, is there to advocate for you and help you negotiate the best possible settlement.
Representing Yourself at Trial Can Backfire
If your case heads to trial, and you don’t hire an attorney, you’ll have to manage the various steps and procedures on your own. And the court will expect you to – even though you do not have a law degree or any experience traversing the legal system.
A lawyer will handle any discovery dispute hearings, advocate on your behalf at the temporary orders hearing, and present your case at trial.
Speaking of trial, would you know how and what to object to at trial? Probably not. If you represent yourself at trial, you may unknowingly allow in evidence that would not benefit your case. In fact, you could actually open up your case to some pitfalls if an appeal is something you want to pursue.
Next, presenting evidence and testifying at the same time will not be easy. When you testify in court, you are presenting evidence you want the judge to hear. If you don’t have an attorney, you will be on the stand without a lawyer there to ask you questions that help convey the evidence the court needs to know about your side of things. Essentially, you’ll be the witness and the attorney – at the same time.
Talk to a Divorce Attorney Before You Decide on a D-I-Y Divorce
Going through all of this alone is stressful, and it could result in you not receiving as good of an outcome as you should get.
If you’re considering a D-I-Y divorce, schedule a meeting to talk about your unique situation with one of our divorce attorneys. Call 303-688-0944 or click here to set up that case assessment.