~by Sarah J. Hink~
The Internet and technology make it increasingly easy to navigate the world on your own. If you want groceries delivered to your door, there is an App for that. If you want to learn how to repair a leaky faucet, there are dozens of YouTube videos regarding your specific faucet.
In fact, with a wealth of information at our fingertips at any given moment, it is tempting to believe that you can save yourself some money by representing yourself in a divorce proceeding. After all, there are plenty of online forms available. There are also endless Internet forums full of people telling you how simple it is to handle your own divorce.
Don’t Take a DIY Divorce Approach
A divorce proceeding is no time for a Do It Yourself (DIY) approach. It may be tempting to download a set of those forms and fill them out, but you may do yourself significant harm in the process. Before you begin representing yourself in a divorce proceeding, consider the following:
• Divorce laws in North Carolina are governed by statute and by an ever expanding body of case law from the Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Divorce lawyers have worked years to study and master this area of law.
• Attorneys can take the facts of your case, apply the relevant laws and provide you with a comprehensive set of options. This will allow you to make an informed decision about your future.
• A divorce requires you to file legal pleadings. Legal pleadings and proposed orders that do not strictly comply with the relevant state statutes my be voidable. A lawyer knows the legal requirements of pleadings as well as the strict timeframes to file these documents.
• There are strict rules of procedure and evidence that you must comply with, even if you are representing yourself.
• If your former spouse has an attorney, you will be at an incredible disadvantage. That attorney has no duty to go easy on you, and the court will not give you special treatment just because you are representing yourself and have no legal experience.
Your Future is at Stake
Divorce can mean ending a cycle of domestic violence and getting the proper protective orders for yourself and your children. It also means ensuring your financial future through alimony and the division of marital property. It cannot be understated that divorce can also mean obtaining child custody orders and child support orders that keep your children safe, happy and financially secure.
If you are divorcing, or considering a divorce, contact us. New Direction Family Law wants to help you secure your future so that you can move forward. For over sixteen years, we have worked tirelessly to serve our clients’ interests. We serve Wake, Johnston, Lee, Harnett, Cumberland, Nash, Granville, Franklin, and Durham counties. Call New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 for a comprehensive consultation, or online at our website.
Meet the Author: Sarah J. Hink
Sarah has practiced family law exclusively since being licensed to practice by the North Carolina State Bar. She enjoys working with people in a time of crisis, and her ability to stay calm, poised and pragmatic lends itself well in the family law environment. Sarah works with her clients throughout their case and is able to fight for their legal rights and the best interest of their family to ensure that they find the stability and security needed to move forward from crisis toward a positive and new direction.