If you are like I was, having to go to family court was not something that I never thought I would have to go through. It’s generally something that is not looked forward to, but the fact that it happens is why family law attorneys and family lawyers exist. These experienced people are there to help you when you find yourself facing divorce, child custody and other family circumstances that need professional assistance from specialized family law lawyers.
While I had very little money for legal expenses, the thought of fighting for custody of my adopted child on my own was just something I wasn’t willing to do. I did not want to take the chance of losing him over a court technicality or some other legal process that I wasn’t even aware of. I was very fortunate to find a family lawyer that reduced his fee considerably after hearing my circumstances and you may just as fortunate.
There are three main reasons that you should not represent yourself in family court and should instead rely on the professionals like family law lawyers.
1. You Are Not Experienced – The first reason is that you don’t know the law like family law attorneys do, they are not only experienced but they spent at least three years as law students studying this material and had to pass multiple tests, including the bar examination.
They are experienced, this is what family lawyers do for a living so they should be the ones that are trusted to help you with family law legal advice and other aspects of the family law that you need information on. Since this is what they’ve studied and what they practice, you can rest assured that they have the information that you need and will work very hard for your case. They keep up with any new changes or additions to the law, and divorce and child custody issues are typically the primary focus of most family law attorney practices.
2. Family Law Lawyers May Be The Cheapest Way – The second reason you may wish to hire family law attorneys is that they may be cheaper in the long run than you may think. You may not think that you can afford professionals, such as divorce attorneys or child custody attorneys. This may drive you to consider representing yourself, and this is the number two reason why you shouldn’t.
While you may think that you can’t afford family law legal advice, you should know that it may not be as unaffordable as you believe. You may actually save money over the long haul, depending on the type of case you are dealing with. For example, if you represent yourself and lose the custody case, the judge could require you to pay child support in addition to the horrible experience of losing custody of your precious child. This is a frequent occurrence when people opt to represent themselves in family court.
There are also pro bono family law attorneys that may be able to assist you if you can’t afford the out-of-pocket expense of divorce attorneys or child custody attorneys.
3. You May Not Even Need To Go To Family Court – In addition to pro bono family law attorneys, you can consider other family lawyers that donate their time such as through Legal Aid to help you. While they will not take your case, they can advise you as to whether you need a lawyer or even if you need to go to family court. Their advice is in the form of a free consultation.
Most medium to large cities have free legal aid services. For example, if you lived in the Albuquerque, NM area, you would do a search for New Mexico Legal Aid. Just use the name of your state and the words ‘legal aid’, and you should see the information you need.
You may just need a little legal advice to start, which can be given by legal aid family lawyers or family law attorneys. You may not even need to go to family court. This is the third reason that you should seek advice from family law attorneys before you decide to represent yourself. If you can handle everything out of court, it may make your life easier financially, less stressful, and after you have cooled down a bit, you will likely find that it was a good idea.