Your Reliable Resource For Self-Representation
There are many forms available to use to file family law documents with the court without hiring an attorney. While some of the forms are mostly self-explanatory, such as the petition for divorce, other forms are more complicated. Some forms may look easy to fill out – but do not warn you about their consequences.
When completing forms such as a financial disclosure statement or a marital settlement agreement, many individuals prefer to do most of the work themselves. If you do not want to hire an attorney to represent you in court, there is another option available. You can consult with an Bonnie Musial and Elisabeth Fletcher from Musial & Friedrich, S.C., on limited issues as you determine.
Why Self-Representation Is A Balancing Act
You may assume that you can simply check boxes and get the form done yourself. However, be wary that these forms will not explain how your choices will impact your life in the future.
Depending on how you complete the forms, there may be unintended, long-lasting consequences that are worth considering before filing anything with the court. Having an attorney review your marital settlement agreement will prevent those unintended consequences.
For example, only in rare circumstances can you change the terms of your property division that is set forth in a marital settlement agreement after the judge signs the divorce judgment. If you have a pension or a retirement account, there are tax consequences that should be considered. You or your spouse may have a pension that neither of you is aware exists. Often, pension plans do not send out quarterly or annual statements like the ones you might get from a 401k plan.
Get Cost-Effective Counsel Within Your Control
If you don’t want to hire an attorney to go to court with you, keep in mind that you can consult with an attorney on an hourly basis, and get help only as you need it, without hiring the attorney to go to court with you.
If you decide to consult with one of our attorneys, you decide how much consulting you want to do. This means that you can control how much you spend on attorney fees.
By not knowing your options nor having all of the information you need, you may end up losing the amount that you hope to save. People call our office asking us to help them change what happened in court or what they agreed to, but often it is too late for us to help them. Let us explain your full rights before you make any decisions and before you sign any documents.