My spouse and I are heading for divorce and wish for the process to be fair and simple. We have already sold our home and split all of our shared assets on our own, however the state of Nebraska says we should not attempt our own divorce without a lawyer. We do not want to hire a lawyer due to costs. I am sure that he and I both will want to keep our own 401ks and not fight over them as they are both small (we are in our 20s). Is there a legal requirement that we must look at our 401ks during the divorce process or is it just so frequently disputed that the state doesn't want to us to try to file without lawyers due to it?
Lawyers just make the process easier for you. If you guys agree to everything you should be able to find a lawyer to do all the paperwork relatively cheaply. Find a local divorce attorney and ask what they charge for an uncontested divorce.
You are not required to have an attorney to file and complete the divorce process. Even if you don't have an attorney, you are still required to follow all the procedures and formalities of the court, including filing the appropriate pleadings in the required timeframes and preparing a divorce decree for the judge to sign, among others. For that reason, it is usually worth the time and peace of mind to contact a divorce attorney to help you draft the appropriate paperwork and complete the divorce action timely. If you and your spouse agree on all issues, this can be done fairly quickly and inexpensively. You see mistakes in divorce decrees completed by people without an attorney that cost a lot to fix when they could have easily been prevented if they would have had an attorney to begin with.
Although I am an attorney practicing law in Nebraska, the answer I provide is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney who will discuss with you the specific facts of your case.
The issue with not having a lawyer is that you are still expected to follow all the statutory and procedural rules that attorneys have to follow. If you don't, you could end up with a divorce that isn't valid. People end up spending a fortune on an attorney later because something gets screwed up along the line. Not to mention the people who come in too late, not knowing that their spouse had put debts in both names that they are still on the hook for. We can't always fix those after the fact.
Please consider the cost of an attorney as an investment in your "fresh start". Don't skimp on the cost and don't think that it isn't worth it.
I am a licensed attorney in the state of Nebraska. However, the advice I give here is not to be taken as legal advice. It is merely my opinion based on the limited information given. In order to assure that your legal rights are being properly represented I would always recommend going in for a consultation with an attorney to explain your case in detail and answer any questions the attorney might have.
Sign up to receive a 10-part series of useful information and legal advice about the divorce process.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline