“Do-it-yourself” divorce apps and programs for preparing and processing forms have become more popular.
While DIY divorce may turn out fine in some cases, it’s full of risk.
If your divorce is simple (because it doesn’t involve kids, neither side is seeking alimony or support and you basically agree on how to split property) DIY divorce apps and tools may be OK. It’s still probably not a great idea, since the products cannot predict problems.
For example, if you and your spouse agree on who gets the marital home, the app is not necessarily going to counsel you on how to refinance the mortgage so that it’s in the right person’s name. Nor will it determine who handles unpaid property taxes, or ensure the title is transferred properly.
If not handled properly at the time of divorce, matters such as these can cause serious issues down the line. If the title transfer wasn’t properly accounted for and years later your ex does not make the monthly mortgage payments, you could be on the hook if your name is still on the title (and on the loan).
DIY divorce services can’t counsel you on handling retirement assets and debt, or on tax implications. DIY apps and programs will not see potential red flags on the forms you submit.
If your divorce is contested, meaning you expect to be battling over custody and property, you absolutely should not leave the process to technology tools. Only your own attorney can help you formulate a realistic approach and represent your interests, either in negotiations or in court. A DIY divorce may look cheaper on the surface, but in the end you get what you pay for.