I can do this divorce myself . . . can’t I?

One of the most common questions asked by a potential client during a divorce consultation: do I really need a lawyer to get a divorce? The short answer: YES!

Although there is no legal requirement that you retain an attorney to represent you during your divorce, attempting to handle the complex legal system on your own without an experienced attorney to guide you may end up being a costly mistake. People often assume that representing yourself (referred to as pro se) will be quicker and cheaper. This is a common misconception that often results in those same people wasting time, energy, and money only to hire an attorney much later on to fix whatever errors were made. This is because neither judges nor court staff are permitted to explain the law to pro se litigants. As a result, these litigants resort to conducting their own research by asking their friends, seeking information in chat groups on Facebook, and doing Internet searches in an attempt to learn the law.

The truth, however, is that none of these sources are as reliable as an experienced divorce and family law attorney who has navigated through the legal system and who is familiar with each court’s procedures and regulations. As a result, pro se litigants may not be equipped with the knowledge necessary to make the right decisions to secure both their and their children’s futures. It is imperative that every litigant know what their rights are as they relate to financial issues and custody issues, so that they do not inadvertently give up that to which they may be entitled. Making decisions without having all the knowledge often leads to the realization that an attorney is needed to undo those decisions.

An attorney well versed in the field of family law will be able to explain your rights and your obligations from the very beginning, will know all the procedures judges require that you follow during your divorce process, and will help you make decisions that protect your rights and the rights of your children.

Get your divorce started on the right foot. If you would like to speak with an experienced family law attorney to understand your rights, call Birz Law at (201) 701-1218 to schedule a consultation. We will be happy to guide you through this process.

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