In the do-it-yourself culture of today, it comes as no surprise that one can easily research divorce online. If one so desires, they may also fill out and print state-specific forms and file them with the court, pro se (without an attorney). Sadly, many parties who pursue such options end up learning a hard and expensive lesson: divorce should not be a “DIY project.”
The Dangers of a DIY Divorce
DIY divorces come in all shapes and sizes. Some offer to complete the paperwork for you, while others simply offer advice to help you fill out the forms yourself. Either way, you are taking a major risk. Few of these options are state-specific, and that can make a significant difference in the division of your marital estate – especially in Illinois, where assets are distributed equitably, rather than equally. Of special concern are large assets, such as the family home, and retirement accounts, which can be exceptionally difficult to divide without assistance.