In any case, your choice to exercise your right to legal representation is yours alone. Even if your ex forgoes the help of a lawyer, that doesn’t mean you have to. However, you still may have questions on what happens if your ex chooses this option and how it might impact your case.
Most of the time, divorcing spouses each hire a lawyer to represent them individually. However, if your spouse opts out of legal help, that doesn’t mean you should. This decision could help protect your rights, finances, and future.
Even if you and your spouse agree with most of the complex issues like property division and debt, it’s unlikely that you will agree on everything.
Take alimony or spousal support as an example. Your attorney can draft a separation agreement that works for you. The same is true for child custody. It can be unproductive for you to argue with your ex on these matters. Let a divorce attorney speak on your behalf.
If your ex chooses not to hire a lawyer, it could impact you both positively and negatively.
When your ex chooses to represent themselves “pro se,” which means “on one’s own behalf,” they will be responsible for all aspects of their case. This includes appropriately filing documents, ensuring those documents meet deadlines, and speaking for themselves in court. If your spouse fails to make deadlines and poorly represents themselves in court, you could expect a favorable outcome.
On the other hand, this could cause some issues for you as well. When your ex misses deadlines and improperly files documents, the process could drag out longer than expected.
Additionally, your spouse will be unprepared for court and not have any idea of what to expect. This can be frustrating to deal with and slow down the process further. The longer the process goes on, the more time and expense are added to your situation.
It is unethical for one lawyer to represent both spouses. Opposing parties in a divorce potentially cause a conflict of interest for the divorce lawyer. Besides, you deserve to have an attorney focused solely on your best interests.
There are many reasons why your ex may not take advantage of legal help. These include:
Whatever the reason, not hiring an attorney will make both you and your ex’s divorce proceedings more painful than they need to be.
When you work with a divorce lawyer, you have someone who can handle stressful situations on your behalf and can further benefit you in many ways, including:
Don’t make divorce more painful than it already is. A divorce lawyer protects your rights and ensures a much smoother process.
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