Should I Represent Myself in a Divorce?
If you are pursuing a divorce, you may consider representing yourself throughout the process. However, before moving forward without representation, consider the type of divorce, the factors of your divorce, and what representing yourself could mean in the long run.
Discuss your divorce options with one of our experienced Fort Worth divorce lawyers. Contact The Clark Law Firm at (817) 435-4970 today.
Consider the Type of Divorce
There are two types of divorce: contested and uncontested.
In a contested divorce, the couple does not agree to most terms of the dissolution. One party may disagree with the divorce entirely. The relationship between spouses is often volatile and emotional, and can involve one party blaming the other for the dissolution. In this situation, each party must present their case before a judge, who will determine how marital assets are divided, along with other aspects of the divorce.
Due to the nature of contested divorces, an attorney can help represent your side of the dissolution to the judge, and work to establish a strategy to attain the marital assets you want.
In an uncontested divorce, the couple can amicably separate, and agree to most, or all, details of their dissolution. The parties may agree to mediation or negotiations, and establish agreeable terms of the divorce.
As many people prefer to avoid litigation, it is somewhat easier to represent yourself in an uncontested divorce. However, representing yourself can lead to a less favorable outcome, depending on the factors of your divorce.
Consider the Factors of Your Divorce
When considering a lawyer, look at the details and factors of your divorce including:
- Familiarity with the legal process – a local divorce lawyer will know the ins and outs of your local courtroom. They spend time learning the details of divorce in your area, which vary between states and even counties. Without this knowledge, you can easily jeopardize the outcome of your case.
- Objective and professional advice – divorces tend to evoke a lot of emotions, including anger, betrayal, and sadness, to name just a few. A divorce attorney can offer advice and help you create a strategy you might not have considered otherwise. They will make your goals a priority, and help you see the bigger picture when establishing agreeable terms for the divorce.
- Strong advocate for your goals – it can be difficult to advocate for yourself during the emotional turmoil of a divorce. An attorney can advocate on your behalf. Whether in contested court, or uncontested negotiations, the proper representation can help ensure your wants and needs are heard. This will be key in obtaining the assets you want from the dissolution.
- Paperwork – the amount of paperwork alone is enough to warrant help from a legal professional. One mistake can lead to a delay or dismissal of your case, so it is important to submit it correctly. A divorce lawyer knows the details of your local court, and can help you find, complete, and submit all of the proper paperwork.
Consider the Risks of Representing Yourself
Representing yourself may be a tempting option, especially in an uncontested divorce, but you jeopardize the outcome of the dissolution by doing so. Processing the right paperwork, presenting before a judge, and advocating for your wants and needs is tremendously easier with a legal professional at your side, and often leads to a better outcome in your divorce.
Contact one of our Fort Worth divorce attorneys today for a complimentary consultation. We can be reached at (817) 435-4970.