The popularity of DIY or pro se divorce has increased with the availability of online resources. A pro se divorce may be a good option if you’ve been married a relatively short period of time, have no children, have few marital assets or debt, and you and your spouse are in agreement. If you are prepared to put in the research, you may be able to proceed without an attorney or simply have an attorney look over the documents you’ve prepared for accuracy.
If, on the other hand, you and your spouse have accumulated assets such as a family home or retirement accounts, have children, or do not agree on all the issues, you are well advised to seek legal counsel. Legal issues such as marital property division, parenting time and responsibility (custody and visitation), spousal and child support are all issues that should be handled by an experienced Illinois family law attorney who will advocate for your interests.
What If My Spouse Has an Attorney and I Do Not?
Family law and court procedure can be complicated, so it is important to prepare by becoming familiar with the law and the process if you are planning to appear pro se. When a party appears in court as a pro se litigant, he or she must understand that they are on their own. If the other party retains an attorney, they are there to advocate for their client only. And, the court will not make a special effort to asset an unrepresented party. Even if the divorce is uncontested, making it possible to appear pro se, at the very least, it is still a good idea to have an experienced attorney review all divorce paperwork especially if a spouse has legal representation and you do not.
Whether your divorce is uncontested or not, we will keep it as stress free as possible. We encourage negotiation, settlement and other effective dispute resolution methods. However, if divorce litigation is necessary, you will have an experienced family law advocate on your side. If you are considering divorce, contact the Law Offices of Ronald L Bell & Associates PC for more information today at 847-495-6000.