Do-It-Yourself or Self Representation

Acting As Your Own Attorney In Your Divorce Proceedings

The Do-It-Yourself Divorce

Pro Se is Latin meaning “on one’s own behalf.” In the Do-It-Yourself or Self Representation option (also called Pro Se or in Pro per), you will be acting as your own attorney in your divorce case. A resolution is created by direct negotiation between you and your spouse with little or no professional assistance.

While this may seem like a tempting option for any number of reasons, it’s important to recognize that divorces are legally and financially complicated proceedings. You will be required, as your own attorney, to handle significant responsibilities in terms of properly following court and civil procedure rules — and “I didn’t know” is not a valid excuse. If you make mistakes, they may be irreversible. 

At Peace Talks, we highly recommend receiving professional legal advice before choosing any divorce option — and especially before choosing to act as your own attorney. Our legal mediators are available to answer any questions you may have, and we can also refer you to an outside attorney if you’d like.

Advantages of Do-It-Yourself

  • You may feel more in control. 
  • You can design your own solutions. 
  • You are on your own timeframe.
  • It may be less costly, unless difficulties arise between spouses that result in the divorce being contested in court.
  • You may consult with divorce professionals.

Disadvantages of Do-It-Yourself

  • Paperwork and procedures are strictly regulated and have time limits that must be observed.
  • The legal documents can be overwhelming and confusing.
  • Financial and tax complexities may exist and be unknown to you.
  • If you need to see a judge, you must know the legal rules, and you have no help to argue your case. The judge will not help you in court.
  • Your decisions may not be well-informed because of the extensive research required as a non-professional to understand the complexities of divorce law and legal precedents.
  • A fair settlement is more difficult to achieve without professional assistance.

If You Decide to Go It Alone

If you and your spouse come to a mutual agreement on an uncontested divorce (where you have both agreed upon all terms of separation), or if you have decided to represent yourself for other reasons, Peace Talks can help you take care of all the legal paperwork required to obtain a Judgment. Contact Peace Talks to ask about our Paperwork Only option.