Your future, your children’s future and your financial stability are important and must be protected
Why it is important to hire an attorney that specializes in family law to represent you in ANY family law case:
Many people might suggest that my point of view on this is biased because I make my living by working for an attorney, but that is not the case. I have witnessed personally the disasters that happen when people choose to represent themselves pro se in divorce or other family law cases. It does not matter how smart you are or how much you study up on the law, unless you practice Family Law in Texas, there are still things you can miss that will cost you in the end.
It should be telling that even attorneys decide to hire another attorney when they need legal representation in an area of law with which they are not familiar. Even family law attorneys, if they are wise, hire a different attorney to represent them in their own divorces and child custody cases.
Legal Documents Online
We all know that there are legal document services online that offer forms for sale to do your own divorce. Some of these forms are even sanctioned by the Texas Supreme Court. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” divorce case. Some are more straightforward than others and the forms you get online MAY be adequate. Unfortunately, they are often not adequate and the only way you can know if they will serve your needs is to consult an attorney. The forms may get you divorced but most of the time they are very general and do not cover everything that needs to be included to make a clean break from the marriage. Using these forms could result in unintended tax consequences, undivided assets and debts, and possible undisclosed assets a party might have been hiding.
Another temptation is for couples to represent themselves pro se because they believe they have an uncontested divorce – a divorce where the spouses believe they agree on everything and don’t need the court to divide their assets or make decisions about child support or child custody. Even though it may seem like a good idea for spouses to “do your own” uncontested divorce, not hiring an attorney could lead to unintended tax consequences, improperly divided assets and debts, and possible undisclosed assets one party may be hiding.
Child custody cases are a whole different animal and tend to be very intense. It is a rarity for a family lawyer to be successful in representing themselves against another attorney in a child custody case. The problem is that someone representing themselves gets much too emotionally involved in their own case to have the objectivity critical to successfully pursue the suit.
The moral of the story is PLEASE hire an attorney for any legal issue you have. It is their job and ethical duty, once hired, to represent you to the best of their ability. Your children’s future and your future financial stability are important and need to be protected by someone trained to do so.