- by Mary Stearns-Montgomery
- in Divorce
As an attorney with 24 years of experience, I would never recommend that you represent yourself in your divorce. In the words of Abraham Lincoln “he who represents himself has a fool for an attorney.” With that being said, there are still plenty of client’s who feel they have no choice but to represent themselves because they are not able to afford a divorce attorney, are getting an uncontested divorce, or are unsatisfied with their current divorce attorney and feel they could do a better job themselves. This is called “pro se divorce litigation” meaning you represent yourself in your case, without a divorce lawyer. The steps are relatively the same, except you will be investing more time, be responsible for completing legal documents and most importantly, held accountable to the outcome of your divorce and for your future.
Before you consider representing yourself in your divorce case, ensure you not only are aware of the divorce process, but you are ready to balance both the emotional and legal affects you will endure during the divorce process. Consider the following points below as a gauge to answer the question, “Do I need to hire a divorce attorney?” If you are able to answer “yes” to all the points below, you have a high probability of successfully being able to represent yourself.
You May Not Need to Hire a Divorce Attorney If…
- You understand your case well enough to explain it in court
- You are organized and have everything documented
- You are confident and great at public speaking—especially in the courtroom
- You understand the legal system including terminology and can interpret their meanings
- You can comply with all correspondences sent and received from the court and you can respond promptly
- You have time to prepare documents, make copies, file documents, research, and attend all court hearings
- You can understand state laws, court rules and cases after you have read them
- You have experience in negotiating
If you want legal advice, you do not understand any of the legal documentation, you cannot afford to lose your divorce case, or if you want to appeal your divorce case, then it is usually best for you to hire an experienced divorce attorney.
Seek Legal Advice from Atlanta’s Experienced Divorce & Family Law Attorneys
Consult with a divorce attorney before you decide to not hire an attorney and represent yourself. For a contested divorce, it is advised that you hire an attorney. Our team of Atlanta divorce and family law attorneys can advise you about procedure and engage with you about the Georgia divorce process. Contact us today for a consultation. With three offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, and Marietta, we proudly serve our clients throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. Call us at 678-971-3413 or submit a contact form here today.