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DIY Divorce — you get what you pay for

Doing home improvement projects can be quite satisfying. Whether it is painting the home or adding a new porch, these projects can instill a sense of accomplishment and save quite a bit of money. However, there are certain things we should not do ourselves. While the temptation is to try and save money on legal fees, DIY divorce is something that many people come to regret.

The idea seemed like a good one because the split was an amicable one, and both sides agreed that the extra money would be set aside for the kids’ college fund. Those fill-in-the-blanks forms did not seem too complicated.

Potential areas where problems occur

The circumstances of each marriage are different, but some common trouble spots include:

  • Vague parenting plans: Plans with a simple “every other weekend” or such may keep it simple, but problems arise if one parent decides to move, either across town or to another state. Other trouble spots include a change in employment, holiday schedules, or frustrating details like responsibility for picking up or dropping off.
  • Insufficient child support: The state has guidelines for determining the amount of child support, but these cover the basics of food, shelter, clothing and may not include the expense of health insurance, tuition, extracurricular activities, and other things.
  • Not understanding the cost of running two homes: Couple will suddenly see a lot of redundancy (and the accompanying cost) not seen with a single home.
  • Dividing assets: Many assume that assets will be split in half, but marital assets are divided equitably (not half) here in Colorado. One spouse may also have a skewed value of certain assets, which can lead to acrimony later when they realize their error.
  • Not planning for the future: It is great that college tuition was discussed, the needs of children and families will shift over time. This can even include such considerations as remarrying.

Better prepared for your future

Working with an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney can ensure that a client’s individual and parental rights are protected today and in the future.

It is also worth noting that some assume that divorce means litigation, but mediation can provide a straightforward, collaborative and reasonably priced alternative to going to court while still protecting those rights.

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