Most of our readers in Georgia and elsewhere have likely heard the term “cookie cutter” as applied to some protocol or process, denoting it as a straightforward and standard technique that broadly — rather than individually — applies to some application.
Divorce is not a process to which a cookie-cutter blueprint should apply.
So says Brendan Lyle, a family-law columnist who flatly decries the use of online tools by any person seeking a high-quality divorce.
“High quality” in the context of divorce can encompass several distinct considerations and outcomes. In many marital splits, it means a parenting plan that is equitable and makes sense to all parties involved, especially the kids. It can signify a fair outcome in a child or spousal support matter. Regarding the division of marital assets, it often centrally revolves around a full accounting of property and, subsequently, its fair distribution.
Achieving any of these aims can be inordinately — often utterly — impossible for any person fixated on saving a few bucks at the outset of the dissolution process by securing one-size-fits-all forms and directions.
The reason, notes Lyle, it that divorce is a complex process that is simply unique in every instance. A boilerplate “how-to” guide might suffice in the simplest of divorces (limited duration; no kids; no support issues; no assets or liabilities and so forth), but few divorces are simple. Nor are marriages clones of one another, resulting in the same considerations and concerns.
As Lyle also notes, it is entirely logical that divorce — a highly specialized legal area that begs close input from a person commanding singular knowledge and experience — will have a better outcome with a trained professional legally tasked to act in the best interests of a client at all times.
That is a no-brainer for Lyle and just one of many reasons why divorcing parties should steer clear of cookie-cutter divorce forms and processes.
“[M]oney spent on a qualified lawyer will pay back in multiples,” he says.
Source: Huffington Post, “Divorce is not a one-size-fits-all business, so why do it online?” Brendan Lyle, April 8, 2014