When facing divorce, couples may decide navigate their divorce without representation. The reason for this choices may be personal or financial, but the impact on your divorce will be significant. Below, we have answered some common questions about retaining counsel:
1. Won't We Save Money?
While proceeding unrepresented may seem cost-effective in the short term, it can often result in costly long-term consequences. An experienced family law attorney will be in the best position to advise you as to the consequences of your financial decisions, as well as help you properly calculate child support and alimony. Working without counsel, a party may drastically over or underestimate the value of their case, leaving money on the table. You may also find that the settlement you reach may not work for the long-term, meaning you'll end up spending more money to modify or correct your original agreement.
2. I Don't Want a War-- Can't We Settle this Ourselves?
The unfortunate fact is that parties in a divorce often have trouble separating their emotions from the practical aspects of their case-- this is where an attorney's assistance can be most valuable. This is probably your first divorce, while your attorney has handled hundreds of similar cases-- and you can benefit from their experience. Your attorney is your sounding board, and will support you through this difficult time. Since your attorney isn't emotionally attached to your spouse, they are in the good position to navigate the conflict, without becoming entangled in the emotions.
3. I've done a lot of research-- Can I do my own case?
While it's a good idea to do your own research and ask questions, remember that your attorney has spent years and countless hours on education and training to represent you. Laws and rules change frequently, and there may be local rules and orders that you must adhere to. An experienced family law attorney stays current on their legal education, researches case law and maintains relationships with the local legal community. As a pro se' litigant, you may overlook the necessary grounds to state for relief, or inadvertently waive your rights to certain property or support. If your case goes to court, you will want an attorney who is well-versed in the rules of evidence and procedure to present your side. Their experience benefits you, and will ensure that your interests are properly represented.
The Bulger Firm offers free consultations to individuals seeking divorce. For your own peace of mind, call 904-608-3694 to speak with an experienced family law attorney today.