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Thinking of representing yourself? Don't!

It always amazes me how many people contact my office wondering whether they are divorced. You're probably thinking what I'm always thinking: How could you NOT know whether or not you are divorced? 100% of these calls come from people who thought they could handle their divorce on their own, i.e. they were self-represented.

I recently got such a call. In October of 1986, he and his (thought-to-be) ex wife filed a joint petition for Dissolution. Unfortunately, that's all either of them ever filed. They thought that was all that was needed. They didn't know any better. He wants to retire now and reached out to Social Security and his Pension plan to find out what steps he needs to take to collect his benefits. Both entities requested proof that he divorced from his first wife. I say "first" wife because both he and (thought-to-be) ex wife remarried other folks some 20+ years ago. Guess what. He was never legally divorced from first wife. His second marriage is void (i.e. invalid) and he can't collect his benefits until he fixes the problem.

Divorce isn't that easy folks. Don't go it alone. Get a lawyer to do it for you and to get it done properly the first time.

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