How Legal Self-Representation Can Harm Your Divorce Case


divorceEntering a divorce brings about an avalanche of questions that you’re not prepared to answer. One of which is the debate of whether or not hiring a lawyer to represent you.

There should be no debate to begin with. You need a lawyer. As per the advice of a family attorney in St. George, Utah, you must not attempt to start any legal proceedings without the representation of someone equipped to protect your rights.

There are three possible reasons people venture into pro se legal representation or self-representation. Some think it’s the only option available to them. Others feel that a lawyer is not worth the money, while others are afraid to enter a situation where they put an attorney on retainer without the certainty of the total cost.

A divorce proceeding, sadly, is not a do-it-yourself undertaking where you can substitute Google for trained professionals. Here are some possible dangers of going to court without an attorney.

It complicates things

While it’s quite obvious, it can’t be stated enough. Without a lawyer, divorces, even uncontested ones, can become very complicated. This is especially true in cases where you must agree upon issues, such as child custody, visitation and actions involving the distribution of pension benefits.

You’re vulnerable to making crucial mistakes

The purpose of hiring an attorney is precisely to guide you into making informed decisions. When entering agreements regarding your children and your finances, you need as much knowledge in matrimonial and family laws as you can get – which you can from a lawyer specializing in that field.

As a pro se litigant, you’ll be subjected to comprehensive agreements provided by the other party’s lawyer. Without sufficient knowledge of the intricacies contained in those agreements, you can very well fail to protect some of your rights. And once you sign an agreement, there’s no going back.

It can disrupt the case’s progression

When you represent yourself in court, it leads to a conflict between the court’s desire to protect you and to preserve the integrity of the “adversarial system.”

Nevertheless, you’re not entitled to any special assistance from the court or help from your spouse’s lawyer, leaving you to limp through court proceedings. In many cases, this can disrupt the progression of the case.

If you’re currently attempting to file a divorce, speak to a family law attorney first. They’re the best source of advice and can guide you through the winding process of litigated divorce. By making the process smoother, it will only save you time and money in the long run.