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DIY Divorce: Not a Good Idea

Divorce is a complicated process, and typically involves the division of assets, child custody and support, and more. It’s never a process one should undertake themselves. With so many moving parts, it’s imperative that couples hire an experienced divorce attorney to help them navigate the legal process and ensure an optimal outcome for all parties involved. Learn three major reasons you should never undergo a “DIY Divorce.”

       1. Typically, spouses are not knowledgeable enough in the law to navigate the divorce process successfully.

It’s very rare that both spouses are knowledgeable enough in the many facets and loopholes of divorce law to complete the process themselves. Attorneys exist to provide sound and trustworthy legal advice that many people would not have otherwise. Each state and county has unique requirements and processes for divorce, which is why it’s crucial to hire a qualified family law attorney who’s well-versed in divorce law in your specific area.

       2. Many couples don’t understand that assets are not always split halfway in a divorce.

Though it seems like it should be the case, marriage assets are rarely split halfway between spouses. Different states have different laws regarding asset division; in Utah, property division must be “equitable,” which does not necessarily mean equal.

For example, if one spouse has an overwhelming financial need requiring a much larger portion of the estate, or if one of the spouses has custody of the child or children of the marriage, that spouse may receive a greater portion of the divided assets. Couples who attempt a DIY divorce may run into unforeseen problems with asset division that will be difficult to resolve later.

       3. Couples don’t develop a plan for child custody or support.

Child custody is complicated and often involves charged discussions about where a child will live and how much time they will spend with each parent. Child custody issues can become even more emotionally-draining for everyone involved if a proper plan is not put in place before the marriage ends. Typically, courts determine child custody based on many factors that boil down to the child’s best interest. These factors are usually subjective and even more complicated for fathers, who must prove legal parentage (paternity) in order to receive custody in Utah.

With such complicated child custody procedures, it’s best for couples to hire an experienced family law attorney so the process can be handled as efficiently and effectively as possible, and in the best interest of the child or children involved.

Utah Divorce Requirements

As mentioned above, each state has different requirements and processes related to divorce. Utah, for example, is a no-fault divorce state, which means the divorce can only be granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, unworkable marriage, or marital misconduct. During a divorce in Utah, the court will:

  • Determine custody of minor children.
  • Establish child support and parent time.

  • Divide property.

  • Assign debts.

  • Make any other appropriate orders depending on the circumstances of each party.

Additionally, couples who have children and are going through the divorce process must attend divorce education and orientation classes, which are offered online.

Considering Divorce? We Can Help

Divorce is never easy and involves several components including asset division, debt allocation, child custody, and more. It’s never something you want to take a stab at yourself. If you’re considering divorcing your spouse, our Salt Lake City family law attorneys can help you understand the process and explain what you need to do to prepare.

If you’re thinking of divorce, contact Lokken & Associates, P.C. at (801) 829-9783 for a consultation with our Salt Lake City family law attorneys.

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