Should I Be Represented By A Lawyer?

There is no categorical answer to this question. Generally, you are well advised to at least consult with a knowledgeable lawyer before you start your divorce and before you finalize your decision. If there are unresolved disputes which will require negotiations and/or trials or hearings, be cautious about representing yourself. It is a complicated system with written and unwritten rules that will be foreign to you. Typically, it is not the “law” that defines a case’s “complexity.” It is the emotion brought to the table or to the trial, which is the greatest source of complication. It could almost be categorically said that a divorcing party in a dispute will have an enormously difficult time filtering strong emotions out of the decision-making process. The phrase “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client” also reflects this same reality.
Negotiating with your spouse may not be wise in some situations. If not, having a third party surrogate act on your behalf may correct an imbalance in the level of knowledge or correct a historical pattern of emotional dominance of one spouse over the other, which cannot be corrected, and may be intensified, during this phase of the divorce.

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