Hafemeyer Law

Hiring an Attorney – Still a Good Decision in a Slow Economy

With current downsizing, unemployment and a slow economy, many individuals have taken to searching the internet for DIY divorce options. Some of these sites offer an un-contested divorce for a flat fee, offering a “cookie cutter” approach to dissolution. The user is asked a few questions to qualify.  Upon qualification, the applicant is asked to answer a series of questions regarding the marriage, property ownership and children.

A recent report in a leading consumer protection magazine discusses the use of DIY sites for legal matters. The test groups each prepared a will online and the wills were then reviewed by practicing attorneys. The findings showed that these DIY sites do not plan for contingencies or differences in any person’s particular circumstances and that many of the wills that were prepared for the participants did not accomplish the goals of the writer.  Had the wills not been reviewed, the owner of the will would never have known of the issue and his/her family members would be left to sort out the confusion after they were gone.

Ask almost any attorney that practices in a certain area of law if they get bored because they are doing the same thing repeatedly. Most would answer that in their years of practice they have not found 2 cases that are exactly the same. Each case and family has unique circumstances that make the outcome of each case different. Especially when couple’s own property or have children, there are a lot of things that should be considered and investigated that these cookie cutter DIY programs do not take into account.

Hiring an attorney opens the door to options. The cookie cutter DIY programs do not offer advice and answer questions. They do not offer the user years of expertise that only experience can gain. An attorney can offer ways to solve problems and arrive at an agreement.  In the end, the agreement may not be perfect, but the participants have full knowledge of what the agreement means and what their obligations are under it. Dissolution is not an easy process, but having the right legal advisor can take a difficult process and answer the tough questions that a website cannot answer.

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