Risks of Self-Representation in a Divorce Case

Don’t go through your divorce, legal separation or paternity case alone. Call the San Diego divorce lawyers at The Law Offices of Doppelt and Forney, APLC. We are here to help you through this difficult time. Contact us today to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.

It is not uncommon for people in family court to represent themselves, but there are risks that come with self-representation.

People who divorce without the expertise of an attorney may put themselves at greater risk for mistakes, delays and added stress. The biggest risk would, of course, be losing your case.

You will be faced with an even larger disadvantage if the opposing party is represented by an attorney who knows the law and will be able to take advantage of your inexperience. Also, note that Judges and law clerks are not able to give either spouse any sort of legal advice.


1. Making Mistakes
Not only is divorce an extremely emotional and stressful process, there is a lot of paperwork. Filling out paperwork incorrectly or missing deadlines may cause the Judge to rule against your favor. Mistakes will also make you look dishonest or disorganized, which the Judge will not look at favorably. Judges make decisions on spousal support, child support and child custody & visitation, and you don’t want to make any errors that could potentially damage your case. When you hire an attorney, they will prepare all of the pleadings and make sure they are filed in a timely matter and served in accordance with the local rules.

2. Added Stress
As if divorce isn’t stressful enough, self-representation is also extremely time-consuming and confusing. Hiring an attorney significantly reduces the amount of time and stress you will need to put into your divorce proceedings. An attorney can also give you realistic expectations from the case and help you see the case more objectively in this emotional time in your life.

3. Long-Term Consequences
In the short term, choosing not to hire an attorney will save you money. However, it may lose you money in the long term. Some issues like spousal support, child support & retirement benefits have long-term financial implications, and failure to address these concerns could have negative financial consequences in the future.

Of course, there is one large benefit to self-representation – you will not have to pay for an attorney. There are also free resources you can utilize to help you prepare for your case.

While no attorney can guarantee results in a case, you should feel peace of mind knowing that you have an experienced professional aggressively working to protect your best interests.

Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
Do you need an experienced San Diego divorce lawyer to help fight for your best interests? Call us today at (858) 312-8500 to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers at the Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC. We serve clients throughout the San Diego metropolitan area, including clients residing in Chula Vista, Carlsbad, Coronado, La Mesa, Vista, La Jolla, Del Mar, Ramona, Oceanside, Point Loma, and other nearby municipalities.

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