Yes you can do it yourself.
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Yes, if you are willing to net the rest of your life you can do it right. I think you are being foolish, and if I am engaged to correct you error it will cost more than doing it right the first time. Your choice, your risk.
To the PROSPECTIVE client, please call myself or another attorney for your choice with more detaiils and an appointment. My PRELIMINARY answer to your question(s) is for general purposes and based upon what little information you have conveyed. It is based on such limited information that the general answer should never be relied as a reason for your action or inaction. My response does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship and such may only be established by mutual agreement, and the signing of a written retainer agreement, which will generally require payment for our services, as this is what we do for a living and, just like you, we must get paid for our work.. .
Setting aside the procedural difficulties (where to go and what to do) divorce is more complex than it may appear. That is why it is to your advantage to at least consult with a lawyer so that you know what you are entitled to. Your wife would be wise to consult a lawyer also. Depending on your income and whether the divorce is contentious, you may be able to get some assistance from legal aid. In your area, you could contact Lakeshore Legal Aid.
Mr. Brennan is correct that if you make a mistake it may either haunt you for the rest of your life, or cost more to correct than it would have to have done it right in the first place.
I am licensed to practice law in Michigan and Virginia and regularly handle cases of this sort. My answering your question does not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should consult a lawyer so you can tell the lawyer the entire situation and get legal advice that is precisely tailored to your case.
I agree with attorney Brennan. It's your right to proceed in court - but since you're not aware of the system and what rights you have that may be at risk, you should hire an attorney. Rights to spend time with your children, where your children live, what property of the marriage you might be able to keep: these are all important to you now, it makes sense to protect them so you can rest easy at night, and not have to fix it later.
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