Is it a bad idea to get a divorce without a lawyer in BC?

Is it a bad idea to get a divorce without a lawyer in BC?

Who needs lawyers anyway? You’ve probably heard that lawyers are expensive and maybe you’ve heard that lawyers are (ahem) less than pleasant to deal with. You might worry that involving lawyers will upset the delicate relationship you’ve managed to cultivate with your ex-partner since separation.  

In BC, it is legal and possible to get a divorce without a lawyer. Does that mean it is a good idea? Not always. We all know that we can file our taxes without utilizing a tax preparation service, bookkeeper, or accountant. However, doing your taxes without any help might not be a good idea. Similarly, when going through a divorce, your decision about whether you hire someone to help, will depend on how complicated your situation is. If you have various assets that need to be protected or divided, children and no clear parenting plan going forward, or you find yourself needing some financial support until you get yourself back on your feet, your case likely involves a level of complexity that will be challenging for you to resolve without legal support. Further, unlike filing taxes, there is one major factor which can complicate your divorce – yup, that’s your ex-partner. Where you are unable to agree on the terms of your divorce, you will likely need someone to advocate on your behalf.  

Involving a lawyer to help you come to an agreement with your ex-partner on the terms of your divorce, may be the most important benefit of retaining a lawyer. Once an agreement has been worked out, it really then comes down to paperwork. Like filing your taxes, you may decide to save the money and complete the paperwork yourself. However, we would recommend that at a minimum, you have a lawyer provide you with Independent Legal Advice on any agreement you have reached so that you can feel assured a fair deal has been struck. Additionally, a lawyer will advise you on how to minimize the likelihood of future conflicts with your ex-partner, usually by the inclusion of particular wording in a separation agreement. 

At HART Legal we believe in making the legal work of a divorce as pain-free as possible. During an initial consultation with one of our lawyers, we will listen to what your needs are and design a unique legal strategy for you around those needs, whether they are limiting costs, getting things done quickly, or leveraging your bargaining position to get you the best possible legal outcome. We offer unbundled service options, which may be the perfect solution if you want to initiate a divorce yourself but need a little help along the way. 

Contact HART Legal to schedule your free 30-minute consultation with a lawyer to discuss your divorce options. For more information about whether “do it yourself” is the right option for you, read “Separation Agreements: Part 1 Doing it Yourself or Finding the Right Lawyer For You”.