Divorce can be a costly endeavor, running from a few thousand dollars for those who have no major disagreements over assets to $25,000 or more for those with significant disputes. Many people try to control costs by taking a D.I.Y. approach to divorce. This may not a good idea, as those who are not trained in divorce law will not know what the law entitles them to. California has a high number of “do-it-yourself divorces,” with roughly three-fourths of family law litigation actions filed without the help of lawyers.
What Is One Day Divorce and What Is Wrong With It?
Several cities in California, including San Diego and Sacramento, are now offering “one-day” divorce programs for those who cannot afford or do not want to hire a lawyer. Despite the title, the program does not really give a couple a divorce in a day. Rather, several requirements must be met first, such as filing divorce papers. Once the criteria are fulfilled, the process will go quickly.
The San Diego program requires participants to answer a series of questions online to see whether they qualify for the program. Once accepted, the parties are advised as to which documents to bring to court. When the couple arrives at court, they should have a general agreement on the division of property and debts, as well as, a plan for the care and payment of any children. A coordinator ensures the paperwork is in order. Though aiding with the paperwork, the coordinator does not represent either side, nor will coordinators offer legal advice. Once the paperwork is completed, the couple goes before a judge, and leaving with a divorce judgment.
Despite the apparent convenience of the program, this abbreviated option works best with cases that do not involve disputes over the custody of children or division of property. In fact, Maria P. Cognetti, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, warned couples with any significant assets to avoid “one-day divorces,” as both parties would benefit from legal advice.
Most couples divorcing do have to consider their division of property and, in some cases, develop a plan for their children. These complicated considerations should not be made in a “one-day” divorce. Rather, legal advice from lawyers with experience in divorce law should be considered. This is particularly true if you are a man who is facing loss of custody or loss of significant assets, or if you are the primary wage earner in your family.
The San Diego men’s rights lawyers at the Men’s Legal Center can help you plan an approach to your division of assets, as well as help you fight for your legal rights in regards to children. Call the Men’s Legal Center today to begin building your case.