Pro Se Divorce – Can you and should you handle your own divorce case?

divorce choices

Are you thinking about filing for a divorce or responding to a divorce petition without help of an attorney?  The term “Pro Se” refers to representing yourself in court without the aid of an attorney.  You have the right to represent yourself in court and some people choose that path. Representing yourself in a divorce case sometimes can make sense if it is an uncontested divorce with no children and no marital assets.  Your divorce may be a relatively simple divorce and you may want to save money by not hiring a divorce attorney.  The necessary forms for filing a divorce are not hard to find online.  However, there are several things that you will need to consider beforehand.

You should be aware that the Court will hold you to the same standards as an experienced divorce attorney and you will be presumed to know divorce law and will be expected to follow all of the procedural rules of the court.  That typically means that you will have to spend a considerable amount of time and effort acquiring the necessary knowledge about how to handle a divorce case.  The Idaho State Law Library located in Boise is certainly a great resource for anyone thinking of representing themselves in a divorce case.

You should also consider your own ability to objective in your divorce case, whether you are emotionally ready to handle your case without outside support.  It can be difficult to see things objectively and clearly when you are going through such a particularly traumatic time in your life.  A divorce attorney can give you advice and guidance, and help you evaluate your case carefully and objectively.

Other things to consider before representing yourself in court are:

1.     If one spouse hires an attorney the other spouse is likely to be seriously disadvantaged by pro se representation.

2.     If one spouse is hiding marital assets it may make sense to hire an attorney to help uncover hidden assets.

3.     History of abuse may make it difficult to effectively represent yourself in court since the abusive spouse may take psychological and emotional advantage of you during the divorce process.

For a general overview of the process see Ten Steps of Divorce Case.

 


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