Lawyers are expensive. Billable hours add up, leaving a lot of people to wonder if they can afford a lawyer or if they would be better off representing themselves.
How hard can it be, right? Watch a few YouTube videos, hit up Google, maybe shoot off a text to your sister’s ex-boyfriend who did that year in law school before deciding he was the next Drake. You’ve got it covered.
According to Julie McFarlane, project director of the National Self-Represented Litigants Project, people who represent themselves in court usually lose. The double hurdle of too much emotional investment and not enough legal knowledge trips many a self-represented party up.
Family litigation is a stressful experience and it is difficult for self-reps to see their case objectively. “They get themselves into this small, dark, angry, isolated place…” says McFarlane
Most self-reps don’t know the law, or how to apply it to their case. They are often unaware of arguments that may help their case and claims that they are entitled to make. If they do not know what they are allowed to ask for, how can they possibly get it?
Whether intentionally or not, self-reps often drag the whole process out with delay after delay, which often results in having cost awards made against them, which means that they have to pay a portion of their ex’s legal fees.
So if you are asking yourself whether you need a lawyer or not, you do.
Contact us for a free consultation. We are here to help.