Eight Reasons You Shouldn't Represent Yourself In Court

Some people believe that they can represent themselves in Family Court instead of hiring a lawyer or going through mediation.  People think that Judges, lawyers and mediators have a bias against people representing themselves.

Steve Hirsch has seen self representing parties testify in Court and has heard agreements that are not fair, not in the best interest of the parties, leaves out assets or debts and will cause problems in the future.  He has also seen people, hoping to get remarried in a few days, in the courthouse three years after they put the divorce through without a lawyer  and asking the clerk for a Final Judgment of Divorce, only to learn that the parties never did one themselves.

People who have no children and no assets may feel they can represent themselves.  They may even feel that they can obtain their own divorces without help.  Many people believe that they can go to court without a lawyer and represent themselves.  When they do, they:

  • do not know how to value or split up retirement plans, often one of the largest assets owned by the parties;
  • do not mention retirement plans in Court even though one or both parties have them;
  • do not know all the ingredients to a good parenting plan in order to avoid arguments in the future;
  • do not know how to accurately determine child support;
  • do not understand that a $100 savings or checking account, a $100 investment account and a $100 retirement account are not equal in value;
  • do not understand legal liability and the effect on one person's credit score as they divide real estate and debt;
  • do not know how to put on the testimony before the Court;
  • do not know how to finish the divorce after the morning in Court.

"Legal representation should not run into the tens of thousands of dollars; but people who represent themselves are making a mistake. People go to specialized physicians, dentists and physical therapists when faced with physical problems. People bring their cars to mechanics instead of fixing them ourselves. Why do untrained people think they can represent themselves in a courtroom? I believe that smart legal advice, promptly delivered at reasonable prices allows clients to be protected in a courtroom." - Attorney Hirsch

Steve Hirsch, a lawyer and mediator, works out settlements or litigates disputes using knowledge gained from reading the law and from the experience of handling a multitude of cases.  Although this may be your one divorce, choose a lawyer or mediator with experience so that you do not regret the major life changing decisions that you make without guidance.  The cost will be less than the horror stories that friends and relatives tell you about. Call Steve at our Warwick, Rhode Island, firm today at 401-287-2079 or contact us by email.