Can you get a DIY divorce if you have kids?

Dear Liz,
My husband and I want a DIY divorce, but we keep hearing you can’t do that if you have kids. Is this true?
– Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Yikes! Without knowing the details here, I’d encourage you to at least make a few phone calls and weigh your options since you have kids involved. Best case scenario is that you and your soon-to-be Ex are on fantastic terms and you agree all the way down the line, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to make sure you’re protecting your kids from any weirdo details that might pop up.

My pal Amy is an expert on divorce and so I’m going to let her chime in on this one.

Here is what Amy had to say:

A couple can get divorced without hiring a lawyer, whether children are involved or not. In fact, most divorces in Maine District Court are pro se (“for oneself”) divorces — that means the parties do not have lawyers representing them. However, just because one is allowed to do something doesn’t mean one should. There are many complicating issues in dividing up assets and debts and reaching agreement on caring for the children. My advice is that you should consult with a lawyer, at least for an initial conference, to learn about any potential complications with your divorce and then decide if you wish to proceed without legal representation.

Good luck!

~ Liz

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