DIY Divorce & Child Custody Agreement?

Idaho attorney Sheli Fulcher Koontz gives tips on avoiding a legal mess if you choose to do your divorce and custody agreement yourself.

Family Law Quick Tips

There are a lot of people who want to do their own divorce case or custody modification case and that’s doable. However, there is a downside to the do-it-yourself route. There are forms that you can get to do your own divorce or do your own custody support modification. Those forms assume that you have a certain fact pattern and you may find that your fact pattern doesn’t fit within the four corners of those documents. But people want to save money because these cases are expensive.

It is recommended if you get those forms and fill them out, pay a lawyer an hour’s worth of time to sit down and go through them with you. Sometimes after you file all those forms and the divorce is final there are some provisions that you cannot go back and change. There are some provisions where the language you use really matters.

Example: You decree that someone can move within 100 miles of each other but logistically does that make sense when sharing custody? That’s a lot of driving and it’s hard on the children. Have a lawyer look over what you want to file before you file so you understand the right language used for the documents. This will end up saving you time and money in the long run because when done incorrectly you may get frustrated.

Idaho Family Law Attorney, Sheli Fulcher Koontz’s recommendation

Have a lawyer help you. If you retain an attorney, you have a lot more flexibility in your documents. If you are doing it on your own, you owe it to yourself to make sure it is done correctly. One hour’s worth of time for someone to help you avoid a very costly mistake is a worthwhile investment.