Oftentimes during consultations with potential clients I get asked “Do I really need a lawyer? This case seems so simple.” The short answer is, YES. Absolutely. There are websites out there such as LegalZoom, however, there is no substitute for the advice of an trained attorney. A website cannot tell you the best course of action, and a website cannot give advice based on years of experience. Furthermore, many counties are constantly updating their policies and procedures, which a website cannot tell you.
The advice of an attorney is invaluable. There may be issues that you do not even know about and could not possibly know. There may be suggestions from an experienced lawyer to make your situation better and the divorce to go more smoothly.
Another huge issue is the paperwork that needs to be done. A summons, complaint, ex parte orders, motions, the final judgment- they all have specific requirements and the clerks will not accept incorrect paperwork. I have seen countless people without attorneys arrive at court to find out that they were missing something and need to do a step over again. They are very frustrated!
Finally, this is not a cost benefit analysis situation. There is almost always a benefit, whether it be advice or time saved, to just simply having the process go smoothly, that makes the cost of an attorney worth hit.