New research in Texas suggests a DIY divorce to be problematic

When a couple marries, the last thing on their mind is divorce. The divorce process can ignite strong emotions, ranging from amicable to rancorous. However strong the emotions may be, it is a reality. The proceedings must be handled with care and thoughtfulness as the parties involved choose the next direction for their individual lives. Recent research in Texas uncovered reasons why a so-called “do-it-yourself” divorce may not be the best manner in which to handle matters.

There are multiple companies and websites in Texas found on the Internet that advertise discounts and low cost paperwork, ranging from divorce forms to the divorce process as a whole. Unfortunately, many of these discounts and low cost tools could potentially cost the user more in the long run. For example, a person may discover, once everything has been finalized, that they consented to something that is financially detrimental to them. Others may have overlooked an important property distribution issue. Even an uncontested divorce can have its own pitfalls, particularly if there are minor children involved.

A Texas judge noted that complications can arise in the divorce process when one party retains legal representation and the other does not. It may even result in evidence being rendered inoperative or kept out of court completely. Moreover, some have questioned whether these DIY websites are actually engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, in violation of state laws.

A Texas divorce can be strenuous on both parties, especially if they are at odds over the issues to be negotiated. Although the Internet may be one of the first place a person turns to for answers in a time of distress or need, relying on trusted professionals may engender a more harmonious outcome in the divorce process. Indeed, a DIY divorce may be problematic, with perhaps painful, lasting consequences.

Source: Huffington Post, “DIY Divorce: Why You Should Think Twice Before Divorcing Without A Lawyer,” August 14, 2013