Do Pro Se Divorce Parties Succeed?

Do Pro Se Divorce Parties Succeed?

Do you know of anyone who decided to represent themselves pro se when the other party had an attorney in a family law case, where the pro se party was the non-custodial parent? What was the outcome?

Let me put it this way (stay with me, this really does make sense):

Most people who eat at McDonald’s or have a cheeseburger delivered to them do so by choice. Otherwise stated, they don’t need to have McDonald’s cook for them, they are motivated by the desire for McDonald’s and/or the convenience of not having to cook a hamburger themselves. They know they could make themselves a hamburger (even a better one than McDonald’s makes, and for less than McDonald’s might charge), but they choose to pay someone else to do the work.

Virtually everyone has a doctor perform a tonsillectomy, instead of performing the procedure on themselves (and yes, it is possible for you to remove your own tonsils, a woman was featured on a TV show back in the 90’s who did it with Novocain, alcohol swabs, and an X-Acto knife). They pay the doctor to do the work out of concern for ensuring their lives and health are not endangered by doing it themselves. They clearly hire the doctor to do the work not as a matter of convenience or personal taste.

Few, if any, people want to go to divorce court without a lawyer’s help. If a good attorney were provided free of charge, hardly anyone would refuse such a thing. Why? Because if pro se litigants succeeded in divorce court about as often as do people who hire lawyers do, we’d see a lot more pro se litigants in divorce court. Indeed, the pro se litigants we see in divorce court are almost all pro se not by choice, but because they can’t afford to hire an attorney.

Going through a divorce without an attorney’s help is difficult, if not impossible, to pull off successfully, and for several reasons, which I detail here:

Eric Johnson’s answer to Have any tips for representing yourself in family court? Do you have a success story as a pro se litigant?

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