If, for whatever reason, you’re planning to move forward with your divorce without hiring an attorney, you’ll want to do your research. There are a lot of programs out there advertising quick and cheap divorces, but you’ll want to be sure you understand exactly what you’re getting before you shell out any money at all.
Most of the time, when you see the signs on the side of the road or have a flier tucked up under the windshield wiper of your car, the service advertised isn’t what you think it is. It will say something like, “Divorce: $199,” but what that really means is that, for $199 (plus filing fees, of course) someone will file your divorce with the court and get you an uncontested divorce.
The problem with that is that most people, when they see the fliers or the signs, think that the $199 will take them through the process from beginning to end, and that’s just not the case. Before you’re ready to be divorced, you and your husband will need to either reach a decision regarding how your assets and liabilities will be divided or, if you can’t agree, go to court to have a judge decide for you.
If you plan to reach a decision together (as most couples do), you’ll need to negotiate and sign an agreement called a separation agreement.
That is not included in the $199 fee. If you and your husband can’t reach an agreement you’ll have to go to court. That most certainly is not included in the $199 fee. In almost every case, all that’s included is getting the divorce—which is by far the easiest and least time consuming part.
Maybe that service is exactly what you need. But, in most cases, that low fee is just a smoke screen that these people use to get you to call in and then find out that the package you actually need costs a lot more than $199.
If you’re not going to hire an attorney, you’ll have to do extra work yourself to be sure that you’re not making serious mistakes that will cause you problems for years to come. I’ve seen women who bring in separation agreements they found online, filled in the blanks, and signed—only to find out that they cheated themselves out of a lot of the marital assets that they would otherwise have received. I’ve also seen women whose husbands presented them with an agreement, assured them it was fair and signed it, only to find out later that the agreement was a whole lot less than fair.
If you still want more, or you’re ready to take the next step, consider attending one of our divorce seminars. We teach them on the second Saturday of each month in both Virginia Beach and Newport News, and on the third Tuesday of the month in Virginia Beach. It’s a great way to get information directly from one of our divorce attorneys—because each seminar is taught by one! You can ask your questions and get the information you need to decide what to do next.
For more information, visit our site by clicking here.
If you’re ready to talk to an attorney one-on-one, we can help you with that, too! To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, give our office a call at (757) 785-9761.