Why Doing Your Own California Divorce Can Cost More Money

Hi, Tim Blankenship here with divorce661.com and today we’re talking about why it’s better to start with a sooner versus later when going through a divorce process.

Let me preface this by saying I’d say about half the people that call us for assistance and hire us have already started the process and got somewhere. Either they filed the petition or they did their disclosures, or even sometimes have submitted their judgment and had it rejected multiple times.

The other half of the folks have looked at the paperwork and decided they were going to hire someone from the beginning. From our perspective, we always believe it’s best that you start with us from the beginning if possible, if you’re watching this before. We can help you, of course, any time during the process if you get stuck, but generally it’s a lot more work to us to have to fix what was done incorrectly than to just start fresh.

That what we find, that usually people that are starting their own divorce are doing something wrong in the initial phases that make us have to basically start over many times. We can always take a look at what you have going on and see where you’re at and make the fix to what has to happen in order to move forward with your case. As far as cost is concerned, we see people who have started their own divorce and they’re following the instructions and they’ll file the petition and it’ll say step 2, serve. They’ll hire a process server and have that cost.

Then it’ll say step 3, the respondent needs to respond and they’ll respond. So now they have a filing fee for the petition of 435 dollars, a process server fee 60, 70, 80 dollars, and then they have a response fee of 435 dollars. All the while they’re going through these formal steps when they have an amicable agreed upon divorce and they’re completely unnecessary.

I’ll tell you there’s no need to hire a process server if you are in agreement. There’s a way of serving by email or mail. And I’ll tell you a response is not required if you’re agreeable. When we have our clients that start with us fresh, that’s one of our selling points. We tell folks you’re not going to have the response fee so we’re saving you 435 dollars there, you’re not going to have to have the other party personally served. There’s a savings of 60, 80, 100 dollars right there.

So it’s going to cost you a lot less to come to us initially to have us do everything up front as opposed to you doing things on your own, thinking you’re doing things right, getting stuck and then calling us. As a perfect example, we had someone just do that. Pay for the petition, pay to be served, pay for the response and then hired us and our fees are the same regardless of where you’re at in the case because, as I said, it’s a lot more work to fix what’s been done than just start from the beginning, so they’ve wasted 500 dollars in fees before hiring us.

Had they just called us in advance we would have been able to save them that money up front and the total of their costs overall would have been less.

Tim Blankenship, divorce661.com. Hope you’re having a great day. Talk to you soon.