When many legal issues arise most people, depending on the complexity of the issue, consider attempting to resolve it themselves without the assistance of an attorney. For several legal issues this strategy serves them well. The most common instances where people choose to handle their own legal issues involve resolving legal matters such as traffic tickets, probate matters and in some instances simple divorce and family law related matters. Internet based research can be a good starting point for some of these issues. Again, this depends on the complexity of the issue. For instance, a couple that has gotten married but haven’t accumulated assets together and haven’t had any children aren’t typically going to have complex issues to dispute during a divorce. If there aren’t any disputes or anything to contest during the divorce proceedings then this is referred to as an uncontested divorce. The uncontested divorce procedure begins with a document filed by a plaintiff and is then served on the respondent or non-moving party. The problem often arises when couples start off as an uncontested divorce but then transition into a contested divorce because of some unforeseen dispute by the parties.
There are pros and cons to proceeding pro se in a divorce or family law related matter. It goes without saying that the number one pro to proceeding pro se in a divorce or family law related matter is that there aren’t attorney’s fees. Attorney’s fees can vary based on the attorney’s skills, reputation and expected time that will be allocated on your case. Uncontested divorces and legitimation matters can be some of the least complicated issues that arise and are the cases where we see the most pro se litigants. Unfortunately, there are also instances where cases start out as pro se and end up bringing an attorney into the case at a later point. Other things to consider include:
- Although a legal issue can appear to be simple there may be issues that arise that are very complex.
- Divorce is an emotional life event. Sometimes it is better to have someone advising you that is going to be rational and guide you through the process.
- Every jurisdiction is different. Your attorney should be someone who has practiced in front of Court before and is familiar with the legal landscape.
- You only get one day in Court. When issues such as custody, child support, spousal support and modifications are being decided you want to make the best argument possible and only present relevant information and law to the Court. The Court doesn’t make any allowances for those who represent themselves. They are expected to have the same grasp of the legal issues as any other litigant in Court.
- Piece of mind. When your case is over you want to be confident that your interests have been protected. It is difficult to obtain a modification once the Court issues it’s order.
The Faucette Law Firm represents clients in all areas related to divorce, custody, child support, adoptions and modifications. We cover the Douglasville, Atlanta and Marietta areas. Contact our law firm today for a consultation.