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Perils of going it alone in the divorce process

"Penny wise and pound foolish."

That is the way that one family law mediator and financial planner who contributed her views on divorce in a recent media article describes the attitude and actions taken by some parties engaged in the divorce process.

The idea that centrally motivates, and just as often undermines, their intentions: Scrap the divorce attorney and go it alone to save a few bucks.

As noted by Linda Leitz, who helps clients fully promote their interests in a divorce, most attorneys are fully fixated on that very same goal motivating her, namely, doing what is best for the client in all aspects of the divorce process. Whether that relates centrally to spousal maintenance (alimony), child custody and visitation, support matters, property division or anything else, the thrust is always the same: Protect the client, communicate with the client and do what is right for the client.

As Leitz notes, some people think that retaining an attorney will make a divorce pricier and prone to acrimony.

Often, it is precisely the reverse that happens. A divorce is a legal process, and lay people seeking to understand and attend to the details without knowledgeable and experienced counsel can quickly lose control over the process -- financially, emotionally and in the outcome.

"It's better to have it done right than have regrets later," says Leitz, who makes the obvious point that few things in life are more final than a divorce.

And doing it right generally means having an experienced and focused divorce attorney looking out for you.

Source: Colorado Springs Gazette, "It's your money: Do-it-yourself divorce could be cause for regret," Linda Leitz, March 10, 2013

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