Hire a Lawyer, or File Pro Se?

A person who represents himself or herself in court acts "pro se." Acting pro se is one way to cut the cost of a divorce. Acting pro se works best for brief, childless and propertyless marriages. Pro se online filing works only when the spouses are in agreement with one another about an uncontested divorce.

When both spouse agree, filing pro se makes ending a marriage a lot less difficult. It only works when both spouses agree to go pro se. If one spouse has a lawyer, the other spouse needs one, too.

Uncontested divorces make it is easy to file pro se, but even with this, it is a good idea ask a lawyer to review the paperwork. An attorney should be consulted if there are child support and visitation issues because any mistakes can make for painful consequences long in to the future. An inexpensive divorce is no bargain when a destitute mother has to return to court for a livable child support agreement. A poorly planned divorce that ends in bankruptcy for one or both partners after it is final can more than offset the savings of a pro se divorce.

An attorney who will handle a case for pro bono or for a small fee may be a good idea if the expense of any mistakes outweighs the costs of skilled legal representation. A flat fee is usually less expensive than an hourly rate.

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