Why A DIY Divorce Is Often A Bad Idea

Posted by Josh Valentine | May 17, 2021

DIY trends are no longer reserved for home renovations projects. Some separating couples believe they can DIY their divorces too. However, divorce isn't like a home project. There are no do-overs if things go awry or a party fails to protect their rights. To add insult to injury, DIYers can end up spending more money fixing their mistakes than they would have paid to hire legal counsel at the outset. 

Bottom line—when it comes to divorce, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. With this in mind, here are 3 reasons why a DIY divorce is a bad idea. 

Reason #1 Understanding The Law is Essential

Problems in a divorce don't reveal themselves at the beginning. You realize them when you are wading through the nuances of your marital arrangements and find yourself at the end of a Google search results with no answers. 

Hiring a seasoned divorce attorney means that you have someone on your side who knows the law and how to apply it to your unique circumstances. With this knowledge, your attorney can provide sound legal advice and give you the peace of mind that you are making informed decisions throughout the process. 

Reason #2 - Understanding Legal Procedure is Critical As Well

In North Carolina, the procedures you follow in filing for divorce may determine the outcome of your financial life for years to come. Not only do you have to complete the forms and serve them within a particular time frame, but you also have to know which divorce claims to file. For example, you may file claims for child custody or support at any time. However, you must file claims for alimony and equitable distribution before the court grants your divorce. An experienced divorce attorney knows which claims and filing procedures are necessary to secure the best possible outcome for you.

Reason #3 - Proper Tax Planning Is Critical

Many DIYers don't know how the division of marital assets will affect their taxes. This means their separation could result in huge tax bills, which rapidly deplete the very assets spouses worked hard to preserve during the marriage. An experienced divorce attorney can advise you of the potential tax consequences and provide advice to ensure the best possible outcome for your finances.

Hire Great Legal Counsel

Don't let DIY trends push you into the deep waters of divorce proceedings without proper legal counsel. Contact Caulder and Valentine or call us at (704) 470-2440 to schedule your private divorce consultation today.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar