What Does Limitation of Representation Mean in My Divorce Case?


A large number of individuals consider the option of self representation in their divorce cases, for monetary savings, belief that their knowledge of their own unique family situation surpasses what others may be able to understand, or for any other numerous personal reasons. However, a unique option to those who may be considering representing themselves or being fully represented by an Orlando Divorce Attorney, is to take an approach that has both methods involved. This entails employing an Orlando Divorce Attorney and having them limit their scope of representation.

This type of representation in Family Law cases was not available until 2003 when the Florida Supreme Court provided changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct. Rule 4-1.2 provides, “if not prohibited by law or rule, a lawyer and client may agree to limit the objectives or scope of the representation if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent in writing.” This limitation should be discussed in detail and transferred into a signed writing. This writing is known as an Agreement Limiting Representation. This agreement provides 1)the name of the client and attorney; 2) describes the specific issues the attorney will be representing the client in, or what their representation is limited to; 3) compliance with the Professional Rules of Responsibility; 4) compliance with Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure; 5) refers to the separate agreement documenting the costs associated with the limited representation; and 6) provides for changes in the limitation of representation if the parties agree, through an amendment to the agreement.

The most important detail of limiting the scope of representation is determining the exact issues or services you want the attorney to be involved in. Before, consulting with an attorney regarding the limitation of representation, you should have in mind the specifics you would like the assistance of legal counsel on. For instance, you might only desire representation at a hearing; review of documents before filing to ensure they properly conform to statutory requirements; advice on a particular issue such as child support, custody, alimony, or equitable distribution; drafting of documents; or representation at negotiations or mediations. There are many steps of the legal process of a divorce and therefore, many different areas where you can obtain particularized advice or representation. It is important to know the divorce process and evaluate the areas where you may need specialized assistance if you are attempting to represent yourself in the case.

If you feel as though you are handling your divorce adequately on your own and only need particular advice or services from an Orlando Divorce Attorney, ask about the process of limiting the scope of representation. Limiting the scope of an attorney’s representation may be something you desire if you wish only to receive certain and particular services from an attorney. However, in many cases, it is still prudent to employ an Orlando Divorce Attorney outright to ensure, during each step of your divorce, you are properly represented, advised, and informed of all the legally nuances involving a divorce.

Speaking to an attorney at our Orlando office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 407-512-0887 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.

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