Why Representing Yourself is a Bad Idea

An old adage is, “A lawyer who represents him or herself has a fool for a client.”  It is an “old” adage because it is repeatedly demonstrated to be all too true.  If it is true for lawyers, how could it be any less true for someone not trained in the law?   The logic is compelling, but not as compelling as the reality.

Couples who divide up their stuff at the kitchen table with minimal yelling and then go to the local office supply store and “get the papers” are heroes to themselves and brag to their friends and family accordingly.   However, the problems they create by “doing it themselves” and more importantly, the opportunities they have missed; may not come home to roost for years in the future.  But, they likely will come home.

The practice of family law is not just the paperwork it takes to get divorced.  There are tax consequences; estate planning issues; financial planning issues – and that’s just the financial side.  What about the human carnage among the children and the self-inflicted wounds to the participants?  There are alternatives to a “War of the Roses” divorce that address these issues.  See, for example, our pages on Collaborative Divorce and mediation.

Every year millions of Americans have their taxes done by a private accountant, H & R Block, or Turbo Tax because the forms are simply too complicated.  Getting divorced – just doing the paperwork – is much more complicated and there is no IRS helpline to call when you get stuck.

Avoid pitfalls that you don’t even know exist and let us work with you. It is well worth your time to contact us.