Do-It-Yourself Divorce Can Be Expensive, Says Fairfax Divorce Attorney
Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 17, 2012 – According to a recent study by Ohio State University, more and more couples are delaying formal divorce proceedings due to financial concerns.
The researchers surveyed more than 7,000 men and women from 1979 to 2008; some 85 percent of those who reported that they, and their spouses had separated, were divorced within three years. However, the other 15 percent of those surveyed reported that they, and their spouse separated, but did not get a divorce for as long as 10 years, due to cost, as well as child care and other financial concerns.
“The cost of a divorce will depend on the complexity of the situation. Property, businesses and children bring complicated elements to the process,” stated Fairfax divorce lawyer Lisa McDevitt. “Having a marriage dissolved properly is not where a couple should cut costs. Too many things can go wrong without an experienced attorney managing the divorce.”
Though every divorce, like every marriage, is unique, there are some standard steps a couple must take to stop being a couple. The court requires that each person filing a Complaint for Divorce must also pay a filing fee. To use a process server, or officer, to serve a summons and complaint to a spouse will also cost a fee, though some states waive the filing fee, if it is found that a party cannot afford it, and they sign paperwork known as an Affidavit of Indigency.
“You should always use an attorney to make sure you have adequate representation protecting your individual interests,” advised McDevitt. “If a mistake is made during a marriage dissolution, it can cause extensive delays, while putting your custody rights and assets at risk.”
Some reasons divorcing couples typically use an attorney include: if there are assets to divide such as estates or retirement funds; if there are debts from taxes and credit cards; if one spouse is covered under another’s health care insurance; if there are children from the union; if there is contention between the two parties over past or current behavior; and if the other party has retained an attorney. And as Ohio State researchers discovered, separation only prolongs the inevitable: five percent of the couples who separated long term later attempted to get back together, but some 50 percent of those couples eventually divorced.
Lisa Lane McDevitt
2155 Bonaventure Drive
Vienna, VA 22181
Toll Free: 866-602-7850
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