Many want to settle their divorce or family law matter outside of court. However, versus hiring lawyers, they want to work it out on their own. Man ask why they should spend the money on lawyers?
The thought makes sense on a lot of levels. If parties could settle their case on their own, maybe that would be best. But there are problems with this line of thinking for most:
1.) If parties were able to settle on their own, would they be getting a divorce in the first place? The cause of many divorce or family law matters is the inability to compromise. So, compromising might be easier said than done.
2.) There are many details that parties miss even if they want to settle it on their own. Many miss important clauses and variables that can result in problems and litigation down the line when parties are trying to settle their divorce or family law matter figuratively on a napkin.
3.) Are the parties knowledgable enough about the law to file the divorce or family law matter and the settlement paperwork on their own to the satisfaction of a family court judge? Most parties unless they are an attorney, or perhaps an experienced paralegal, will be unable to draft and submit the paperwork to the satisfaction of a judge.
4.) Are both parties negotiating from a position of even-strength? In many cases, one party is exerting undue pressure on the other party. They might have greater financial or legal knowledge. Or, one party might be the person who usually made the decisions during the marriage. One party might be drafting paperwork and pushing the other party to sign it. This can make settlement negotiations patently unfair.
5.) Working it out without lawyers can often lead to fighting, disagreements and bickering. In many cases, this can make the situation worse. This is particularly in cases where there is a history of arguments and significant bickering. In these cases, trying to settle it without lawyers can often make matters worse.
For all of these reasons, most parties should not work it out on their own. Instead, if they want to settle their case amicably, they ought to consider a collaborative divorce. In a collaborative divorce, most or all of the concerns mentioned above can be addressed in an appropriate manner to help parties get to a place where settlement is possible. Yet, they will not be relying on their own ability to work it all out on their own.