Should I Handle My Divorce Myself, or Hire a Paralegal Instead of a Divorce Attorney?
When it comes to filing for divorce in Arizona, you have three options: filing for divorce yourself, hiring an independent paralegal service, or hiring a divorce attorney. Every dissolution of marriage is unique and it is important to be aware of the risks and benefits of each option.
Filing for Divorce Yourself
Arizona Superior courthouses provide step-by-step instructions for filing for divorce yourself. While this option may be suitable if you have an uncontested divorce, meaning you and your spouse agree amicably on all of the divorce terms, or if you have no children and little to no assets, this option can save quite a bit in legal fees. However, it means taking the time to read, learn, and understand all of the rules and laws surrounding court proceedings and filings. Even a simple filing mistake can be costly, and all liability falls onto you for any errors made. Visit here for an example of some of the documentation you will need to gather to fill out divorce paperwork.
Additionally, even if a divorce begins in an uncontested manner, this may not remain the case. As you proceed through the paperwork, you may find that you and your spouse begin to disagree on matters that you hadn’t previously even considered. When this happens, issues can escalate without legal representation.
Hiring an Independent Paralegal to Help You File for Divorce
In Arizona, you have the option to hire a paralegal to handle the filling out, and filing of, your divorce papers. These services are available at a fraction of the cast of hiring a divorce attorney, but their scope of service is limited. While paralegals understand court laws and document preparation, they are prohibited from giving legal advice. Moreover, they are not licensed to advocate for you in court as your representative should your divorce case end up in trial.
Using a paralegal service may be cost-effective for an uncontested divorce, but the services provided will not be sufficient in situations where property division, child custody and support, and negotiation issues are in play.
Hiring a Divorce Attorney
Going through a divorce can be one of the most stressful times in anyone’s life. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney takes an immense weight off your shoulders by removing the burden of learning the law, and how to correctly fill out the extensive paperwork, yourself. Family law is quite complicated, and an attorney will protect your rights and interests and prevent you from being taken advantage of by the other party.
Even in an uncontested divorce, an attorney will keep you organized and keep track of your deadlines. They will also bring to light legal issues you may not have previously considered or known about had you filed yourself or used a paralegal service. This prevents you from needing to hire an attorney in the future to handle problems that may have arisen as a result of your initial divorce decree being one-sided or unreasonable.
Rideout Law Group knows that going through a divorce or legal separation can be emotionally and financially draining. Our attorneys are experienced in navigating the complexities of divorce proceedings, including property division, spousal support, child custody, and visitation rights. We strive to achieve fair and favorable outcomes while minimizing conflict and promoting amicable resolutions.
Rideout Law Group handles cases throughout the entire state of Arizona, with offices located in Scottsdale and Lake Havasu City. Our attorneys are experienced in handling divorce cases. For a free consultation, call 480-584-3328.