Money is often one of the most hotly contested issues in a marriage, and it should come as no surprise that it is often one of the most hotly contested in a marital dissolution. Illinois residents are well aware of the emotional and financial costs of divorce, which is why some are turning to the aptly named “DIY divorce” as an option. However, it is important for Illinois residents considering this form of divorce to remember that it has its own pitfalls.

A woman in a northern state recently amicably split from her husband and sought a DIY package in the interest of saving money when nothing was to be contested. However, their personal lack of knowledge of divorce law in their state not only caused them to accidentally misfile some of the paperwork, but also to nearly miss the fact that the woman was entitled to some of the man’s pension benefits. Even in an amicable setting, this could have had sweeping consequences for both individuals.

Ultimately, DIY divorce is a valid option on paper. In practice, it can be far more complicated than it is advertised to be. The knowledge required to accurately file for divorce often outstrips the typical person’s knowledge of divorce law. This is why DIY divorce may not be the right choice for an Illinois resident seeking to end their marriage.

Divorce can be one of the landmark moments of an individual’s life and deserves care and attention if it is to be done equitably for both parties. Illinois residents seeking divorce may be tempted by the concept of a quick fix, do-it-yourself solution, but they should enter into such an arrangement with the foreknowledge that it may not be as easy as it has been advertised to be. Ultimately, how one deals with divorce is an individual decision, but it is generally a good idea for that decision to be an informed one.

Source: The New York Times, “California Pioneers the Court-Aided One-Day Divorce“, Ann Carrns, June 7, 2014