Divorcing on Your Own: Is it a Good Idea?
Divorce is a legal action that poses you against your spouse. You each want what’s best for you, not necessarily each other. In many divorces, each spouse hires a private attorney to represent his or her interests. Navigating the legal process of divorce in New Jersey while in the midst of heightening emotional strife is more than some people can, or want to, handle. Divorce attorneys help alleviate this stress and can assist clients in obtaining the outcome they want. But many people ask whether they need a lawyer to get a divorce. As a technical matter, you are permitted to represent yourself in your divorce action. This is called being pro se. Pro se parties are held to the same standard as lawyers are, and the court expects them to adhere to the many rules and procedures of divorce proceedings. That said, while you can represent yourself in your divorce, it can be a significant investment of your time, and you might not achieve the outcome you want.
Deciding whether or not you need to hire a lawyer to represent you in your divorce requires identifying your priorities. What do you want, and what is important to you? You will also need to determine the major points of conflict. Are you filing on fault grounds? Are you and your spouse fighting over child custody? Alimony? Dividing your property? Do you think you can achieve the outcome you want on your own? How cooperative is your spouse being?
After answering these questions, you should have a better idea of why you might need an attorney. It is important to understand that reading self-help packets and asking the court clerk for instructions on how to fill out forms is no substitute for skilled legal counsel. No one at the court can give you legal advice, and it can be difficult to know what is in your best interests if you aren’t familiar with divorce law. And without someone to inform you of your rights and help you defend them, you risk being taken advantage of and losing what’s rightfully yours.
Before you take action, consult with an experienced New Jersey matrimonial lawyer who can help you identify your priorities and advise you on a course of action. Some divorces are relatively simple and may not require the involvement of attorneys. Contested divorces or divorces involving significant assets or children, however, often make hiring attorneys necessary for each spouse to protect his or her own interests. The biggest benefit a divorce attorney can give you is peace of mind, knowing you have an advocate on your side.
Are you contemplating divorce? Williams Law Group, LLC can advise you of your rights and protect your best interests every step of the way. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form