This old English proverb means that a person is foolish if they are trying to defend themself without having studied the law. In other words, it means that if a person represents himself in the court, they can be tricked or trapped as they do not have the formal and emotional perspective to properly defend themself.
The information provided is based on general situations and might not apply to your specific situation. This information is not meant to be specific legal advice. Always consult a lawyer to apply the law to your specific facts and state.
What is an agreed to or uncontested divorce?
A divorce is uncontested when both parties agree on all issues including the division of debts, assets, child custody and child visitation.
Can one attorney represent the husband and wife if the divorce is uncontested?
One attorney can draft the paperwork for the divorce, but it is highly recommended that the attorney represent only one party in the divorce to avoid conflicts of interest.
Are uncontested divorces finalized faster?
Generally, it is quicker if the divorce is uncontested. Your state may have waiting periods before the divorce is granted. A judge might waive some or all of the waiting period if both parties request the waiver in writing. A contested divorce may take more than nine months or more to complete due to discovery, trial preparation, and the court’s availability.
Are their other benefits of an uncontested divorce?
There are many possible benefits. Costs can be considerably less than that of a contested divorce. You can create a custody and visitation plan that works for your family. You are in control of the division of your assets and debts. It’s possible to dramatically reduce the anger and hard feelings that often occur during the prolonged litigation and trial of a contested divorce.
Should I go through a “service” and do my own divorce?
If you have been married a very short time, don’t have much debt or assets, and don’t have any children, then doing your own divorce may be possible. Many divorce services and programs are not provided by attorneys. They often have a disclaimer that clearly states that the service is not providing legal advice. In most states, only an attorney licensed in that state can provide legal advice. If you are not represented by an attorney such as ours you are truly on your own and it is your responsibility to understand your rights and the legal consequences of your actions. If you make a mistake it may be very difficult or even impossible to fix after the Divorce is filed. Carefully read the fine print before you decide to use a “service”.
If you have been married for more than a few months, if you have children, if you have marital assets or debts or if you are not sure you understand all of your legal rights it would be in your best interest to have an attorney advise you and file your paperwork. Often the cost of using an attorney for a consent divorce is not much more than using a “service” and it is a small price to pay to make sure your Decree of Divorce reflects your intent.