What are the Risks of Representing Yourself in a Divorce?


Although the idea of self representation may seem to have some benefits such as, financial gains, and knowledge of your marriage and case better than a stranger. There are also many risks associated with self representation in a divorce proceeding. Therefore, we recommend a consultation with one of our Florida Divorce Attorneys to discuss the items we can bring to the table when we represent you and explain our duties, expertise, and goals when representing our clients as well as discuss the risks involved in representing yourself in such a matter.

Failure to meet statutory requirements to prove certain claims in your case. Within every claim in your divorce, whether it be alimony, child support, child custody, or equitable distribution of property, you are required to present to the court certain evidence supporting your claim. For instance, a court cannot award alimony without a spouse showing a specific need for alimony, and the respective spouse’s ability to pay this need. Therefore, if you simply just ask the court for an alimony award, even if you are in desperate need of such support, they will not award it without you presenting proper evidence. Your Florida Divorce Attorney will be able to explain to you the necessary requirements of each element of your case and procure the evidence needed to prove each claim in your divorce. We are experienced and knowledgeable of the type of evidence needed and accepted by the court and therefore, will be able to simplify this process for you.

Failure to follow procedural requirements. In every legal matter, there are certain procedural requirements to be followed. Most of these include the required documents to be filed in each case and the deadlines for the filing of these documents. Failure to file a single document or meet a deadline can result in penalties by the court or even your case being dismissed. As experienced Florida Divorce Attorney’s we are aware of the necessary documents in each case and calendar each deadline properly to ensure timely records and proper conformity with Florida law.  

Emotions can cloud judgment. When you are entering a legal case involving such sensitive matters such as a marriage, and your children, it is difficult if not impossible, to remain objective in the situation. However, when you lose objectivity, your case will suffer. You may let your emotions for your spouse cloud your judgment, confuse the real issues, and forget your interests in the matter. Your attorney will be able to discuss with your what you are entitled to under the law rather than what you may feel is fair in the matter. By having a third party argue for you and your rights, they are able to remain focused on your best interests and obtain a result that is fair and offer a fresh perspective on the matter.

Unaware of the legal tools you may use to gather evidence. Every divorce has certain prerequisites that each party must exchange, such as financial affidavits and mandatory disclosure. However, if there are certain pieces missing and more evidence is needed to present to the court a fuller picture of the financial status of the parties or even misconduct that may have occurred, you will need to implement further discovery methods into your case. Your Florida Divorce Attorney will be able to discuss with you the discovery methods available such as, Requests for Admissions, Requests for Documents, Subpoenas, or Depositions and how they may aid your case.

If you are considering representing yourself in your divorce, contact one of our Florida Divorce Attorneys to discuss your options. Our Florida Attorneys will always strive to represent your best interest, protect your rights, and ensure your divorce conforms to the statutory requirements. We are experienced, empathetic, and aggressive in our representation.

Speaking to an attorney at our Florida office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 850-307-5211 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.

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