Can I Get Divorced Without An Attorney?
Divorce can be complicated and draining, both financially and emotionally. While some divorces may include complicated legal battles, there are others that have the simple focus of moving forward. In the case of the latter, the process for divorce can seem simple enough. Having a lawyer to help you navigate the divorce may seem unnecessary.
Filing For Divorce Without a Lawyer
In some parts of the country, it is fast and simple to file for divorce without a lawyer. Areas with strong domestic court systems may offer options to spouses that allow them to file themselves. This could include checklists and forms that help spouses navigate through the divorce process. It may even be possible to expedite the divorce if it falls within certain guidelines.
However, without a lawyer, it can be difficult to understand and follow the rules necessary to obtain a divorce. Learning the process can be overwhelming. Some courts require self-represented parties to take classes that provide information on the divorce process. Other courts do not provide this, instead expecting self-represented parties to obtain the correct information on their own. Additionally, courts that do not offer support in navigating divorces, or do not offer a way to file online, can prove exceedingly difficult for parties representing themselves. Parties must spend hours learning the process, finding the correct documents, and filing them with a clerk. Having a lawyer, who has navigated the process many times and understands what to do, can make life much simpler. While it is possible to file for divorce without an attorney, it can make it a very time-consuming and difficult process.
Alternatives to Hiring a Lawyer
The emotional and financial burden of divorce can make many decisions feel overwhelming. It can be hard to find the right lawyer, especially if you feel your case does not warrant an attorney at all. If hiring a lawyer is not a possibility for you, there are other options. One option is consulting with a lawyer on an as-needed basis. This could include asking an attorney to look over your paperwork before filing or receiving help navigating an online filing process. Consulting with a lawyer when you need to can provide a great balance between doing everything on your own and hiring a lawyer full-time. If hiring a lawyer is not an option because of financial constraints, visiting a family law clinic can be an excellent way to receive quality legal advice. Many clinics offer sliding-scale or flexible payment options, depending on the circumstances.
Determine What’s Right For You
Divorce can be a very tough obstacle to overcome. With so much uncertainty, it can be hard to decide whether hiring a lawyer is the best option for you. While it is not strictly necessary to have an attorney to complete a divorce, it can be extremely helpful. At Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri, we would be happy to discuss your options and assist you in understanding what’s best for you. Call us for a consultation today at 408-553-0801.