What Are the Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Family Law Attorney for Your Divorce and Custody Matters Instead of Representing Yourself?

I am a divorce lawyer. You may believe, consequently, that my response to your question is going to be self-serving and that I am going to tell you that you should hire an experienced family law attorney. You are wise and prudent to be skeptical.

That stated, you can ask those of your circle of friends and family members whom you trust and who are as wise as or wiser than you whether hiring an experienced family law attorney for your divorce and custody matters instead of representing yourself. They will tell you, unequivocally and without question, that the answer is “yes.”

That stated, the benefits of hiring a divorce attorney are not as great as they were a generation ago. There are still many benefits to hiring a divorce attorney these days, but much of what an attorney—and only an attorney—could do for you in the past (due to the specialized knowledge your attorney, and only your attorney or other attorneys like him/her, is now possible to obtain and enjoy through sources other than an attorney. Almost any family law question can be answered by some diligent Internet research (be warned, however: there’s infinite supplies of misinformation, myths, and mindless drivel on the Internet too, so conduct your research with a careful and discriminating eye).

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you could become a fairly formidable pro se (meaning “self-represented”) family law litigant. Many jurisdictions are also starting to permit people other than lawyers, such as specially certified or licensed paralegals, to practice some limited scope legal services in family law cases. Candidly, when you opt to represent yourself or hire a non-lawyer, it should come as no surprise that you almost always get what you pay for. Otherwise stated, the amount of money you “save” by not hiring a skilled attorney is usually “paid” in the form of excessive amounts of time and effort you have to expend to gain the benefits equivalent to simply hiring a skilled attorney. There’s no free lunch, there are no shortcuts.


Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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