This is a question that we at the R & S Law Group, LLP are often asked. The truth is, self-representation is not uncommon. In fact, nearly half of all divorces in California include one party who has chosen to represent him or herself, rather than rely on a divorce attorney.
In other words, no, you don’t necessarily need an attorney to walk you through your divorce proceedings. This is especially true for cases where both spouses are collaborating and the divorce is a straightforward one, as the extent of an attorney’s involvement usually centers on filing the appropriate paperwork. Not only that, but judges are not strangers to self-representation in divorce proceedings and other family law matters, something which they take into consideration when presiding over a case or making any judgements.
That being said, even the smallest contested matter can quickly turn into a larger dispute. In these instances, or in any case where there is contention or hostility between parties, proceeding without representation could prove to be a critical error, especially if the other party has secured competent legal representation on their end.
Divorce Attorneys Work With Your Best Interest In Mind
If your divorce proceedings turn south, or if you expect any type of dispute to arise, you need to ensure that you have a skilled divorce attorney on your side. We have seen it time and time again: an unprepared individual can easily find him or herself over their head if they go up against a spouse who has an attorney on their side. This is a serious disadvantage that jeopardizes your chances at a favorable outcome. A skilled attorney can help ensure that your divorce proceeds in a way that is fair and that your rights are always preserved.
Even if your case is straightforward and free of conflict, attorneys still provide valuable assistance in other ways. You can always speak to a legal professional in a more limited capacity, especially if you only need assistance with forms and documentation, or if you only need to be represented during a limited number of hearings.
To summarize, a divorce attorney is not necessary when moving forward with divorce proceedings, but opting to self-represent carries significant risks. This is why we at the R & S Law Group, LLP advocate that anyone dealing with divorce and family law matters in California consult with a skilled attorney before making any moves. These types of matters are too sensitive to leave to chance, and an attorney is a minor investment that is worth his/her weight in gold.
If you need to speak with a seasoned divorce and family law attorney, call the R & S Law Group, LLP today. You can reach us at (949) 825-5245 to learn more about how we can help.