Do I need an attorney for a no-contest divorce? Maybe yes, maybe no. Certainly people do it all the time when they have their own agreement, their own separation agreement, and their parenting plan. They go through the divorce process without an attorney. It’s done all the time, usually for financial reasons; they simply can’t afford an attorney.
My advice is this: spend the money, spend the couple thousand or so that it takes to do it right. That’s my advice.
I think that you are better off if you have an attorney write up your documents for you. The reason for that is if they’re not drafted correctly, you can have problems down the line. It’s wise to come to an attorney even if you’re agreeing on everything.
An attorney can’t represent two parties. One of you would go to an attorney, you would sit down with your bullet points of whatever your agreement is on how to divide your assets and debts and your agreement on the children, and then have that attorney see if and where there are holes are. They can advise you on ways you may not have covered this particular issue, point out if there isn’t guidelines on holidays on the parenting plan, or how you’re going to handle Mother’s Day. They can also check to see if child support was applied using the formula correctly.
I think it’s a troubleshooting method and a method to assure that you have crossed all the T’s, dotted the I’s, you’ve handled everything that needs to be handled in the agreement. It shouldn’t be too expensive because there is no argument. It’s just a matter of drafting up the documents and filing them correctly. I do think that it is a good investment to do that, given how often people come back later with a disagreement and it hasn’t been addressed because they did their own agreement. They didn’t address in the agreement this potential breakdown. That’s something that a divorce attorney would hopefully assure that you’ve touched on in your agreement and it would be easy to handle later on down the line.