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There are an abundance of DIY options available for getting divorced that appear on the surface to be cheaper and faster. In a few situations they are a good option but in most cases they create unnecessary legal problems and expenses..
If you are considering a DIY divorce, it is best to take advantage of a free consultation with an Alpha Center divorce mediation attorney first. If they believe DIY will serve your needs, they will tell you so. If they see major legal “potholes” for you in a DIY divorce, they will tell you about them. Then you will be able to make a decision based on valuable knowledge rather than just the idea that it’s “cheaper and faster.”
Maybe you want to take care of things yourself because you just don’t like lawyers! We get it. Our lawyers have chosen to work in a unique niche that isn’t pushy, confrontational, or ego-driven. Our lawyers are mediators, and a part of a team of other professional mediators working in a collective manner for your family’s benefit. We understand well the apprehension to work with lawyers, and we think after your consultation you’ll have a sense of why we’re different.
Turn on the TV or search the internet and you will find that there has been a major influx of lawyers over recent years. There are so many that some have to “scramble” to make a living. Many will offer the “one-lawyer” divorce option.
They officially represent one party but tell them to tell the other party that they don’t need their own lawyer. This is not only very unethical, it is extremely misleading. They draft a Marital Settlement or Property Settlement Agreement for their client and have them tell the spouse to sign it. Their fees are very low as is the quality of their advice.
The other person, who is not being represented by this lawyer but is asked to trust them, decides to cooperate because it is “cheaper and faster.” They often regret this decision long after they have signed on the dotted line. They eventually learn that they have signed away important rights that cannot be recovered unless they hire a lawyer and pursue a costly lawsuit.
As the pioneers in divorce mediation, Alpha Center has the greatest amount of experience and resources available for helping people through separation and divorce. In recent years, other attorneys have attempted to imitate the Alpha Center divorce mediation program. Examine these programs carefully to see how their services and experience compare to Alpha Center.
After years of dragging their clients through court battles, some divorce attorneys are now offering their clients the alternative of “collaborative law.” These lawyers have begun to offer the option of having their clients agree to settle rather than go to court.
This is a very positive step away from the full-blown devastation of a long and expensive divorce battle through the court. However, it still requires two separate lawyers who bill at high hourly rates and can tend to complicate matters. Collaborative law is better than divorce litigation, but more expensive and complicated than Alpha Center’s program for divorce mediation.
You should take advantage of a free consultation with an Alpha Center divorce mediation attorney who will advise you if a collaborative divorce lawyer is best for you. If so, they will recommend a collaborative law lawyer who we know by reputation to be honest and experienced.
Years ago, couples had no choice but to hire divorce litigation lawyers and suffer through expensive and long court battles. Fortunately, these destructive approaches are not necessary for most people today.
To gain more insight into the differences between Divorce Litigation and Divorce Mediation, you can read the following article: “Differences Between Litigation and Mediation in Divorce are More than Just Financial.”
Divorce Mediation is always the better option; however, there are still two circumstances when hiring divorce litigation lawyers is the only option:
The first circumstance when a divorce litigation lawyer is necessary is when one party is physically abusive to the other. Those individuals who are truly under the threat of physical harm must hire a divorce litigation attorney to fully protect themselves and their children.
The second circumstance arises when one party hires a divorce litigation attorney and refuses to consider divorce mediation or any other option. They often do this because they are angry or fearful and mistakenly believe that this is the only way they will be “protected.” The other party has no choice but to hire a divorce litigation lawyer to ensure that their rights are protected.
When there is no choice but to hire a divorce litigation lawyer, you need to proceed with extreme caution. It usually comes as no surprise that some divorce lawyers put their own financial gain far above the best interests of their clients. Thankfully, there are some lawyers who do act in their client’s best interest, ones who can be trusted, and we know many.
Most attorneys are “good talkers,” so the average person has no way of knowing which attorney will act in their best interest. They can get recommendations from family, friends, co-workers, or the internet, but these often lead in the wrong direction.
This is why Alpha Center has created a Resource Directory which includes the names of divorce litigation attorneys who are experienced and known to be reputable. For specific recommendations, call 1-800-310-9085 and our Outreach Coordinator will provide you with good recommendations.