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Divorce Without an Attorney

The Startling Pros and Cons of Getting a Divorce Without an Attorney

Getting a divorce without an attorney seems to a very cost-effective option but its cons are no less than its pros. Here is an unbiased look at various aspects of this procedure.
Kundan Pandey
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Divorces can be very tiresome and can extend for many months, thereby draining a lot of emotional energy from the couple. Besides that, the costs associated with divorces these days is something that gives couples sleepless nights. Getting a divorce without a lawyer is the trend that is gaining its fraction of popularity owing to high divorce costs, prolonged court hearings, and numerous legalities associated with legal separation.
There is no denying the fact that litigation costs are high and getting a divorce means you have to pay a high fee for hiring an attorney or a divorce lawyer. However, many couples are avoiding the expensive route to end their marriage and are choosing the pro se concept which is nothing but self-representation in the court while filing for divorce.
The concept of In propria persona ("pro per" when shortened) states that you won't require an attorney or a lawyer to represent your case in front of the judge but you can state your own case. There have been increasingly large number of people who have filed for sorting out domestic relationship issues in courts by taking the self-representation step.
Divorce without an attorney seems to be a blessing in disguise as couples don't have to go through the tedious process of divorce in court hearings as both partners are in mutual agreement on the divorce settlement. Added to that is the cost parameter involved when you're representing yourself.
This may appear very inexpensive and save some of your hard-earned money but logically, it has numerous disadvantages, like:
  • There have been many complaint cases by judges according to whom people who represent themselves barely have knowledge about numerous documents and legalities necessary in the court rooms. Instead of making the divorce process simpler, it becomes more complex, wasting the court's time and other resources.
  • No matter what, divorce attorneys are professionals and they understand the intricacies of court rooms far better than any layman. That's why they're in existence. It may be inexpensive to go without them. But couples fail to understand that an attorney makes the entire process methodical and simple. He aims to maximize profits for both the partners and works keeping the interests of both parties.
  • Many cases of self representation ends up in poor results, with one or both the partners dissatisfied with the judgment. This can occur due to poor explanation and representation of problems in front of the court.
Instead of hiring lawyers for entire case, they can hire them for just taking advice on how to proceed for the case. Here they needn't pay a hefty fee and the attorney just charges consultancy fees. Also many courts provide legal assistance through trained court assistants to people who wish to file for divorce.
These assistants only help in making the couples aware about how to file divorce papers properly. Several courts also provide financial aid to couples seeking divorce through self representation. It is advisable to go to your state court and ask what help is available for couples facing financial issues.