Do it yourself Divorce
When you are getting divorced, should you have an attorney?
What if your spouse has an attorney to draft an “agreed” divorce? Or you and your spouse get a do it yourself divorce kit? As with most legal issues, the answer to these questions is somewhat complicated? In a typical divorce involving children child support is set based upon the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines. One parent will carry health and dental insurance and both parents will pay their proportionate share of the premium. Uninsured health and dental costs including deductibles are typically split 50/50 between the parents. If the children are to attend private school, then usually both parents will share in the financial burden. Be prepared to handle these and many more issues in a do it yourself divorce.
But what if the divorce is not a typical one. Imagine this scenario: Your spouse hires an attorney to draft an agreed divorce. You read the agreement and realize that you get virtually nothing but pay almost everything. The children will be spending equal time with both parents – 50/50 parenting time and joint custody. You have to pay rehabilitative alimony for five (5) years at $2500 per month plus almost $2,000 per month in child support. You also must maintain health insurance on the children. You pay all 100% of the uninsured medical and dental expenses. Additionally, you must pay 100% of the private school tuition and education expenses for the children. If this is not enough, you must also pay the mortgage on the marital home until it is sold. Your spouse is not disabled, but in fact has a college education, and is fully capable of working.
Why would anyone agree to this? In a do it yourself divorce without a lawyer a person is very prone to agreeing to something that is not desirable. Nor likely to be ordered by the court. The above scenario could have turned out differently if each person had been represented by a divorce attorney. No doubt that any lawyer would have advised against such a one sided agreement. Under certain circumstances a person may be required to pay both alimony and child support, and a portion of health insurance premiums and uninsured costs. But, when both parents are well educated and capable of being gainfully employed, then both should contribute financially to the support of the children.
There are times when one attorney can and does draft an agreement which is fair and proper for both parties.
But as seen here there are times when this does not happen. Before entering into a do it yourself divorce. Always carefully consider your options and consult with an experienced family law attorney of your own. Before You may seriously regret an agreement made without sound legal advice, and you may very well be stuck with it.