Heidi E. Opinsky

The Law Offices of Heidi E. Opinsky, LLC

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Should You Get a DIY Divorce In NY?

Deciding to get a divorce is only the beginning of many critical choices you’ll have to make as you move through the process of dissolving your marriage. One of those is deciding whether or not to file for a divorce on your own or hire an experienced New York divorce attorney. 

Here’s what you should know about the risks of DIY divorce in NY and how an experienced divorce lawyer can assist you. 

What Is a DIY Divorce?  

DIY divorce refers to the process of filing for, negotiating, and resolving your divorce without the assistance of a family lawyer. DIY divorce is only available to couples whose divorce is undisputed, which means you and your ex have agreed on most of the issues in your separation, like custody or alimony. 

Although an uncontested divorce is typically less confrontational and less frustrating than a disputed divorce, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option. 

Risks of DIY Divorce In NY

There are several risks of getting a DIY divorce in NY, including but not limited to the following issues: 

Property division might not be equitable. 

When you work with a New York divorce attorney, you ensure that the state’s laws regarding equitable distribution are followed when dividing property. For many people, obtaining their fair share of marital assets is imperative to getting on their feet financially after a divorce. When property division isn’t equitable, one spouse may be awarded a less-than-equal share of assets that rightfully belong to them. 

You may not be able to get alimony or child support. 

Disagreements about finances frequently become full-on fights between divorcing couples, especially in high net worth divorces. Many people have differing views on what constitutes reasonable spousal or child support in New York, which often leads to an impasse if neither spouse will make a compromise. 

In some cases, it’s not in your or your family’s best interests to negotiate. A Manhattan divorce lawyer can help you stand firm when necessary in order to advocate for your family’s security. 

It may be more difficult to resolve a high conflict divorce.  

In a contested or high-conflict divorce, both spouses may struggle to reach a mutually agreeable divorce settlement. This may make the dissolution process take considerably longer than it otherwise would, and can make it more physically and psychologically draining. 

Furthermore, attempting to tackle these issues alone is even more stressful. A divorce lawyer in Manhattan can help you minimize the pressure of getting a divorce and deescalate the situation so that you and your spouse can reach an agreeable arrangement.

You may not be able to make custody arrangements in the best interests of your children. 

When kids are part of a divorce, it can be difficult for parents to decide how to raise them once the relationship has ended. Parents may find it difficult to divide their time between school, weekends, activities, holidays, and other events. This causes frustration, which can easily escalate into a heated argument. 

When you file for divorce in New York yourself, you won’t have access to a lawyer that can help you navigate custody arrangements. Not only does this make the divorce harder, it also negatively affects your children.

You may make mistakes on your divorce paperwork that leads to a reduced settlement or custody and/or visitation denial. 

The paperwork you submit to the court servicing your jurisdiction must be complete and free of errors. If you fail to list your property correctly or do not report your income properly, for example, you may be accused of concealing assets. 

If you are caught hiding assets from your spouse in a Manhattan divorce, you may be penalized with fines, restitution, and/or jail time depending on the circumstances of your case. Judges to whom you’ve lied are more likely to rule in the other party’s favor, further reducing your divorce settlement.  

How a Divorce Lawyer In Manhattan Can Help You  

One of the most valuable resources you have during a divorce is your attorney. At first glance, hiring a lawyer seems costly and may even appear to be unnecessary if you and your spouse agree on your divorce or don’t have children. But it’s crucial to have an external third party watching out for your interests.

Your attorney can: 

  • Provide you with expert legal advice. Family lawyers do more than represent you in court; they evaluate each client’s unique situation to offer tailored legal advice that helps the client make educated decisions about their case. 
  • Help you protect the wellbeing of your children. An attorney can help you make a stronger case against your ex-spouse when it’s not in your child’s interests to associate with their other parent.  
  • Communicate with your spouse and their attorney on your behalf. When you work with a lawyer, you’ll be able to route phone calls, emails, etc. through your attorney, who will only forward to you matters of importance or those that require your response. 

Call Heidi E. Opinksy Today 

Are you considering divorcing your spouse? Now is the time to reach out for experienced legal assistance. Navigating a NY divorce without the help of a lawyer can be extraordinarily difficult and even in the best case scenarios, DIY divorce may leave you with less than you deserve. 

Contact Manhattan family attorney Heidi E. Opinksy today for a consultation to discuss the details of your case and begin developing a legal strategy designed to achieve the best possible results. Whether your goal is negotiation or litigation, Attorney Opinsky can help. Call now for your appointment at 203-653-3542.