If you’re looking to get an uncontested divorce in Bexar County, you’re able to represent yourself in the legal proceedings involved with finalizing your decree. They even provide a handy online guide to help you navigate the system.
But even that document warns you right off, “The Bexar County Civil District Courts do not encourage anyone to pursue or defend a divorce, paternity, custody, or any other civil suit without the assistance of a lawyer. Representing yourself in a legal matter is difficult. Most non-lawyers find it frustrating and time-consuming. A divorce suit has long-term consequences and affects important legal rights. That is why we strongly recommend you consult with a lawyer.”
This is important because you may not be aware of what your rights and responsibilities are in a divorce. If you’re in an uncontested divorce, it’s possible that you may have not even checked in with a lawyer, thinking there’s no need for that expense if you’re not going to court. But a lawyer isn’t just in your corner to litigate: A lawyer lets you know what laws might affect you and protect you during and after the divorce.
The document also specifies that “Uncontested means that both sides agree on everything — such as money, property and children related to the divorce, and have no disagreements — either in the beginning or as the case develops. Even if your case is uncontested, we strongly urge you to talk to an attorney to make sure your legal rights — and those of your children — are protected.”
That’s important for obvious reasons. There’s also something else to keep in mind — you might discover, in the process of talking through your divorce with a lawyer, that you suddenly may have an issue to contest. For instance, let’s say you used part of an inheritance you received before you got married to put a down payment on a house you’re now looking to sell. You may be entitled to a different amount of money than you’re agreeing to, based on you and your soon-to-be-ex’s understanding of what’s fair. If you go back with that knowledge and there’s suddenly disagreement over what’s rightfully yours, you could end up with an issue that changes the whole dynamic of the divorce.
If you have children, you also want to think about the divorce decree. What you and the other party have agreed to may work for you now, but you’ll have to determine if that will work for you in three years or five years or ten years. If it won’t, you may need a different decree than you are about to sign, and you may have something more to negotiate.
Even if you feel that you’re in concordance with your soon-to-be-ex, it’s a good idea to do at least a consultation with a lawyer to make sure you’re making the best decision for you and your children. The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance can advise you on the best course of action to take, including whether an uncontested divorce is really the best thing for you. While it might be the easiest path to getting divorced, it might not be the best.