As I am sure you are aware that technically you can do your own California Divorce divorce. I say technically because many try and many fail. While it is possible to do it yourself, the percentage of actually completing is very low.
I understand that the decision to attempt to do your own California divorce is most likely a financial decision or you may have been told by someone else that it is easy to do.
In discussing this, I want to talk about what doing your own divorce will cost you. Not so much in actual dollars, but in time spent in doing so in an effort to shed some light on making the decision to do it yourself or hire us to prepare your divorce case for you.
Folks who decide to attempt to do their own divorce run into several problems. First of all, you will need to complete your own divorce forms. I am sure this is your first time so the forms are going to be very foreign to you. You will need to then file these forms with the court, who by the way will not review them for accuracy, they will just take your money and stamp the forms. (it is not their job to review documents)
Just on this first step of filing the forms here are some things you will have to decide.
- What forms do i need to file to initiate the case?
- Did I fill them out correctly?
- Now that there filed, how do I serve them? Can I serve them?
Okay, so lets assume you filled out the initial court documents, filed them with the court and had them served properly.
Let me ask you a question. How much time did you spend on this? Did it take you away from your work? Family? TV time? You get where I am going.
Now you have only just begun the process. It only gets more difficult as you proceed. Now you need to complete your financial disclosures.
Here you will need to decide:
- Which forms do I need?
- Do they get filed with the Court?
- Do I need to serve them? Personally served or mail served and by whom?
- What do I need to disclose?
Lastly, you will need to complete the judgment. By far the most tricky of parts. There are multiple forms that comprise the judgment and a certain way to prepare the forms.
The point here is that you are going to spend more time than you like trying to complete your own divorce. And if you are working, you are going to need help on occasion and probably try to use the court’s self help centers. Good luck with that. They are on a a first come, first serve basis and usually are only able to help about 30 people per day.
You will end up spending several full days if attempting to use the court’s self help center.
So I again pose the question of what is the cost of doing your own California divorce?
My guess is that it may cost you more financially, but will cost even more in your time. Time you can never get back.
If you have the resources to hire our firm to complete your California divorce, we definitely recommend it. Spare yourself the nightmare of trying to complete your own divorce.
Trust me, much of our business comes from people who have spent months on their own, without success, only to come to us to fix what they have started and take them to the finish line.