A “do-it-yourself” approach to divorce can save you and your soon-to-be ex thousands of dollars in attorney fees. However, if you’re planning to go the DIY route, you may encounter a few challenges that may be difficult to navigate on your own divorce.
Here’s how a legal coach can help you through your DIY (also known as pro se) divorce without the full expense of retaining an attorney.
What is a legal coach’s role in a DIY divorce?
A legal coach provides professional legal advice to individuals who are representing themselves in civil court cases, such as a divorce. A legal coach, who is typically a licensed, experienced attorney, can help you understand documents, forms, and legal jargon so you feel adequately prepared to present your case to the Court. Legal coaches are much more affordable than divorce attorneys since you will still be representing yourself in the DIY divorce process.
Keep in mind that a legal coach is not the same as a divorce coach. A divorce coach plays a therapeutic role, giving you emotional support to help you deal with the stress and anxiety of separation. A divorce coach, by contrast, is there to help with the preparation of the actual court paperwork and court proceedings. Many clients hire both types of coaches to obtain both legal and emotional support during a divorce.
Common DIY divorce challenges a legal coach can help with
1. Drafting your settlement agreement
Drafting a marital settlement agreement with your soon-to-be ex for your uncontested divorce can be difficult. Hiring a legal coach will ensure you cover all your bases the first time around so you can properly word your agreement and minimize any future changes, which would require you to sign and file a modified agreement with the Court.
If you and your spouse cannot work out all of your disagreements, a legal coach can assist with partial settlement agreements. For this option, include everything you do agree on and outline the ones you will need to decide on later.
2. Documenting your custody and support arrangements.
If you and your spouse have minor children, together, your divorce will come with some additional legal factors to consider. You can turn to your legal coach for tips on how to thoroughly outline your custody and support arrangements to minimize conflict or confusion in the future.
Your legal coach can help you determine if you can file your support case through your local Circuit Court as part of your divorce or if you’ll need to file in Juvenile & Domestic Relations (J&DR) District Court. If you and your spouse cannot agree on custody or support arrangements, your legal coach can direct you in taking the issue before a judge.
3. Completing your legal paperwork.
Paperwork mistakes can cause delays in your divorce proceedings. A legal coach can ensure you are filling out the correct documents and review your completed paperwork to catch any mistakes before you submit it to the court.
4. Representing yourself if your spouse hires a divorce lawyer.
If your spouse hires an attorney, don’t panic — it is still possible to strongly present your case yourself. By working with a legal coach, you can arm yourself with knowledge, confidence, and strategy before ever stepping into the courtroom. From helping you fill out the right paperwork to preparing you to respond to discovery, argue motions, or put together a trial outline, or negotiate a thorough settlement agreement, a legal coach can ensure your DIY divorce runs as smoothly as possible, even if you’re up against an experienced attorney.
Read more about a case like this from a real My Legal Case Coach client.
Don’t face your DIY divorce challenges alone.
Divorce is never easy, but with My Legal Case Coach, you’ll be well on your way to feeling confident and prepared. When you purchase one of our easy-to-use, templatized legal case form packets, you’ll receive one free hour of virtual legal coaching on your schedule. You can also purchase prepaid blocks of additional coaching time for ongoing guidance for as little as $100 per hour.
To get started, take our quiz to find out which case packet is right for you, or schedule a free 15-minute consultation.