There are many paralegal and non-lawyer agencies offering to ‘do your divorce’, often for a fraction of the cost of what a lawyer may charge. These offers are usually too good to be true, and can cause the applicant to be in a worse situation, and to spend more money, than if the application was processed by a lawyer. Why?
As a general statement, a non-lawyer who ‘does your divorce’ is filling in forms. The non-lawyer is not responsible for the application – you are. It is your name on the documents, and you will be the person contacted if something goes wrong with your application. The non-lawyer has no obligation to assist you after you are contacted by the Court, and they cannot represent you to the Court.
Besides, the forms are all available on-line. If you want to fill in the forms yourself, go here
If you fill in and file the forms yourself, you only have to pay the court filing fees. In Alberta, that is $260.00 and in BC $330.00.
This may be a good option for you. However, if your situation has one of the following circumstances, you should consult with a lawyer before starting a divorce application:
- You have children. There are certain legal requirements for the parenting and decision making for your children before you can divorce.
- You are paying or receiving child support. Child support is regulated by the Divorce Act, and needs to be properly addressed in your divorce application.
- Your children are in activities or have medical / dental expenses. These are also regulated by the Divorce Act.
- You are paying or receiving spousal support. The effect of spousal support changes with the wording of the divorce paperwork.
- You have a separation agreement. The agreement reached with your spouse can be changed, inadvertently or intentionally, with your divorce application.
- You have not divided your family property. A divorce can begin a limitation period, and cause you to miss out on certain benefits and entitlements available to you.
Improperly worded divorce applications can cause unexpected consequences, and can result in you not receiving your entitlements. We offer flat fee divorce rates, as well as consultations for those who want to do their own divorce. Contact us to see how we can help you.