In Las Vegas, our Self Help Center makes it very easy for people to represent themselves in Family Court. Some choose to represent themselves to save money. Others do it because they believe “hey, it’s a divorce. How hard can it be?” Regardless of the reason, if your spouse decides not to hire an attorney for your Las Vegas Divorce, you should know what to expect.
It will probably take longer.
Just because divorce forms are readily available, doesn’t mean they are easy to understand and it certainly doesn’t mean the Las Vegas Divorce process is easy to follow. When your spouse does not hire an attorney, they will have to act on their own. This means filing the right paperwork when necessary, representing themselves in Court and making sure that your lawyer gets all of the necessary information before Court hearings and even a trial. Frankly, when a party represents themselves in a Las Vegas Divorce, this rarely happen.
What usually happens is that a party representing themselves will either file documents late or fail to serve the appropriate documents on your attorney. Often, this can lead to significant delays in your case. Likewise, people representing themselves in their own divorce case, may forget to appear at Court hearings which could further delay your case. Most judges will not rule against a party representing themselves if they forget to provide a document or miss a court date. Instead, your case will continued to allow the other party more time to do things the right way. We get – it’s very frustrating!
It could mean more work fixing mistakes.
If your spouse does not understand something he or she will have nobody to turn to for legal counsel besides free resources. This can often lead to misunderstandings about the law and the procedure in a Las Vegas Divorce. Usually, this means more work for you and your lawyer. For example, if your spouse wishes to make changes to any an agreement, he or she may have a more difficult time communicating those alterations effectively. This can cause your attorney to draft the same document multiple times which can further delay your case or even lead to inaccurate documents being filed with the Court.
Your attorney and the judge cannot help.
Time and again, our office appears in Court against parties representing themselves. Many times these parties will try to ask us, or even ask the judge, for legal advice. It is important to remember that your lawyer is YOUR DIVORCE LAWYER. Likewise, the judge cannot offer the other side legal advice simply because they decided to do the divorce on their own.
Court appearances can be frustrating.
We have published a number of articles about representing yourself in Court. Despite this, and the other vast resources available about making Court appearances, few people can remember the helpful tips when appearing in front of a judge. If your spouse has decided to go it alone, you should expect Court appearances to be extremely frustrating. Your spouse, however, will not receive preparation for Court as if they have an attorney and will your spouse will have to act as their own spokesperson throughout the entirety of the process.
Sometimes hearing your spouse talk in court while you remain silent can be frustrating. You may feel like you have less control or that certain points are being made that you need to speak out against. However, it is important to remember that if you have hired a divorce lawyer, you have an experienced, skilled attorney specifically to defend your rights and advocate on your behalf, whereas your spouse does not. Because of this, your spouse is at a disadvantage.