“Do-it-yourself” divorce has grown in popularity in recent years. With smartphones and computers offering so much information at our fingertips, individuals nationwide are empowered to learn and do more than they ever could before. While pursuing divorce without any help is plausible in the present day, it’s still fraught with challenges.
You have the legal right to represent yourself in any legal proceeding. However, when you pursue this right, you assume the risks involved with forgoing assistance from an attorney.
Regardless of how much research you conduct and how well you prepare, there are risks to representing yourself in court. Because you lack the legal prowess of a lawyer, you could be:
- Unaware of the extent of your rights and thus unable to fight to protect them in court
- Unprepared for the pressure of appearing in court
- Unlikely to reach a settlement with your spouse, thus leaving your future up to the judge’s discretion
These challenges are even more difficult when you consider the emotions and stress you’ll likely feel during the hearing.
When Representing Yourself Is an Especially Bad Idea
There are times when representing yourself could come at a lower risk, such as if you have little to no assets or debts, no children, and are not seeking any spousal support. However, in other cases, doing so could be disastrous. You should avoid handling your divorce alone if:
- You do not have the free time to dedicate to the process
- You fear your spouse is hiding assets or debts
- You have children
- Your divorce is contested
- Your spouse is a danger to you or your children
Such a case would necessitate practiced legal counsel and representation.
The Time Involved
Individuals who wish to represent themselves in a Missouri family law cases are required to take certain preparatory steps. You must complete a two-step Litigant Awareness Program if you are going to court for:
These courses will teach you about the Missouri court system and offer further information on the risks of representing yourself. Once you finish the program, you must file your Certificate of Completion with the court before you can proceed with your case.
The Advantages of Hiring a Lawyer
Our lawyers are determined representatives ready to fight for your best interest. By calling on the help of our team, you benefit from:
- Efficient solutions: Our attorneys have a combined 40 years of legal experience that we are ready to apply to your case to settle your divorce effectively and efficiently.
- Help throughout every step of the process: Our lawyers will handle everything from paperwork to courtroom representation.
- Legal knowledge and support: We know the laws and what you are entitled to receive.
- Time to focus on you: We understand how stressful and emotional this period of your life can be. Let us focus on the legal work so you can focus on healing and starting the next chapter.
Divorce is a difficult process that coincides with an emotionally-charged period in your life. You do not have to endure it all alone. Let our attorneys help you through the process so we can fight for the future you deserve. Contact us today to get started.