Why you should never get a divorce without legal help

Many of us experience the heartbreak of realizing our marriage is over. If you are facing this reality, you may be entering survival mode and looking for the quickest and cheapest way out of your marriage.

You are not alone, and you're not crazy. It's very reasonable to respond to the end of a marriage by looking for the easiest way out so you can start rebuilding your life. Unfortunately, there is no thing as a quick-and-easy divorce and mistakes made during the divorce process can have lasting and negative consequences.

In the eyes of the law, your marriage is similar to a legal business relationship. It is not possible to simply decide you are no longer married -- rather, one spouse must sue the other spouse and settle the lawsuit in order to achieve divorce.

Here in Pennsylvania, even if you qualify for one of the two types of no-fault divorce our state offers, there are many matters that couples must address to avoid bigger problems down the road.

Proper legal help ensures your future safety

One of the biggest problems with trying to obtain divorce without proper legal guidance is that you and your spouse may not address everything that a judge requires for your divorce to be finalized.

This is not your fault -- you're probably not an attorney. In order for a judge to approve a divorce, you must first reach a fair settlement that addresses, among other things, asset and liability division.

Yes, your settlement must address assets as well as liabilities. Like we mentioned earlier, your marriage is similar to a business partnership, and the law considers debts as marital property. If you or your spouse has significant personal debt, then your divorce settlement must acknowledge this.

Also, if you do not properly divide your jointly-held assets, your spouse's poor judgement in the future could continue to impact you, especially your credit score.

Furthermore, matters become exceptionally complicated if there are children involved. Creating a parenting plan without proper legal guidance is a recipe for disaster, one that may primarily punish your children. One of the surefire ways to stretch out a divorce process is filing a problematic parenting plan because you didn't have proper legal counsel.

Build a strong team to build a bright future

Ultimately, you can achieve a straightforward divorce, but you are risking lengthy, costly conflict if you attempt to divorce without proper legal counsel.

Do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced family law attorney to help keep your divorce simple and civil, and to protect your rights as you enter a new season of life.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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