WHAT HAPPENS IF MY SPOUSE DOESN’T HIRE A LAWYER?
If you’re getting a divorce, you know it is already complicated, even when both parties involved have adequate legal representation. However, when your spouse refuses to hire a divorce attorney, it can present some unique challenges and opportunities for you as the opposing spouse.
A spouse may opt out of hiring legal representation for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons are lack of funds to pay legal fees and an initial perception of straightforwardness in a given divorce. However, even in cases of uncontested, no-fault divorce, self-representation can pose a greater risk of an undesirable outcome.
Self-representation poses problems for the court and for the opposing spouse. Without the assistance of an experienced divorce lawyer, divorce paperwork is often filled out incorrectly or important components may be missing, preventing the court from moving forward with your divorce. Even if the process of divorce is lengthened because your spouse has filled out paperwork improperly or made other avoidable mistakes, you will still be responsible for the resulting attorney fees.
It’s also important to know that your Columbus divorce lawyer cannot advise your spouse or speak for them in any capacity. You may pass information along to your spouse if you wish to do so, but your lawyer cannot provide legal counsel for them. While your divorce attorney will have to communicate directly with your spouse regarding things like paperwork and division of assets, they are not permitted to provide them with any sort of legal advice or instruction. When it comes to the in-person divorce court proceedings, your spouse will be required to speak for themselves, while you will be spoken for by your attorney. This may place you at a significant advantage when sorting out matters of spousal support or division of assets.
If you are considering divorce or are already in the thick of it, don’t go in without the legal help you need. Even if you think your divorce will be uncontested or feel certain that you and your spouse already agree on the terms of your split, you may be placed at a significant disadvantage when the two of you disagree over property, parenting, support, or any other hot-button issues that come up during divorce.
Get access to sound legal counsel from our team of experienced Columbus divorce attorneys and family lawyers at Weis Law Group. We are committed to helping you navigate your divorce as successfully as possible and fighting for an ideal outcome.