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Major Pitfalls for Pro Se Litigants in Divorce Cases

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Some people mistakenly believe that they do not really need a lawyer to get their divorce finalized. They may be hoping to save some money or they may be thinking a lawyer will slow down the process, so they opt to represent themselves (i.e. pro se).

This is a big mistake you should avoid.

Divorce law is complex. There are filing deadlines, statutory guidelines, and common law precedent you need to be aware of in order to successfully finalize your divorce.  When a divorcing party opts to represent themselves, it is quite common for mistakes to be made that can derail the process. Below is a list of common mistakes made by parties representing themselves in a divorce: 

Creating a Parenting Plan that is Not Beneficial for Both Parties

If you are getting a divorce and have children, you and your spouse are required to create a parenting plan. This plan determines where your children will live, who they will spend time with and when (e.g., vacations, birthdays, etc.), how financial decisions (e.g., college) will be made, how conflicts will be resolved, and so forth. Without an experienced divorce lawyer to guide you, there is a risk you end up with a parenting plan that deprives you of the ability to make certain parenting decisions or agreeing to pay an exorbitant amount of child support. 

Failing to Remove Your Spouse from a Loan Title

You may be required to remove your spouse’s name from a loan title. Depending on your divorce decree, you may be required to pay off the balance on the loan. If you fail to remove your spouse’s name from the loan title, they can file a lawsuit against you if they are harmed by your failure to service the loan in a timely manner. 

Forgetting to Include Important Stipulations in Your Divorce Decree

The divorce decree is a court-issued judgment. Both you and your spouse must adhere to the provisions of the divorce decree. In many cases, the parties can negotiate and agree to the terms of their divorce decree during a mediation session or through a collaborative divorce process. Unfortunately, without an attorney guiding you through this process, you may forget to include important stipulations within the divorce decree, or may not fully understand the orders in a divorce decree. This can impact alimony payments, selling your primary residence, dividing bank accounts and other financial assets, how debts will be paid, etc. 

Speak to an Experienced Houston Divorce Attorney Today

Making a mistake in your divorce decrees is difficult to amend. To ensure that your divorce goes as smoothly as possible, you need to hire an experienced Houston divorce attorney. The law office of Conner & Lindamood, P.C. is here to help. Our team of experienced and skilled Houston divorce lawyers can meet with you when you are ready. We are seasoned trial attorneys who know the ins and outs of the divorce process. Contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Resource:

dshs.texas.gov/Vital_Statistics/Verification_of_a_Marriage_or_Divorce.aspx

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