Can I file for divorce without representation? 28 Answers as of July 03, 2013

I was wondering if you need a lawyer to file for divorce. My wife and I are amicable, and don't want to go through an attorney if not needed. Any advice would be great.

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Bruning & Associates, PC
Bruning & Associates, PC | Kevin Bruning
The cost of a lawyer is well worth the benefit of efficiently and expeditiously proceeding on your divorce. You can file for divorce without a lawyer. Most County clerk of court offices have online webpages with forms for the filing of a divorce case.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 11/28/2011
Goddard Wetherall Wonder, PSC
Goddard Wetherall Wonder, PSC | Brook Goddard
Representation is not mandatory in family law cases, but it is highly advisable. Family law attorneys have expertise on the substantive and procedural questions that have to be addressed in every case. An amicable divorce still has issues and questions that have to be addressed. Just one of the spouses can retain an attorney to assist with the paperwork and procedures of a truly straightforward and amicable divorce, but the other spouse has to take a leap of faith as the attorney can only represent one party.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 11/17/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
In Colorado, yes. But, you might find it best to at least consult an attorney for more comprehensive information about what sort of things you need to resolve even if everything is amicable.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 11/17/2011
AyerHoffman, LLP
AyerHoffman, LLP | Cara Lee Thompson
No, you do not need an attorney to file. However, you may realize once you've filed that things are more complex than they first appeared, and at that time you may want to retain an attorney, or advice from your local legal aid organization if you qualify for said aid.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 11/17/2011
The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
Yes, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/17/2011
    The Law Office of Erin Farley
    The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
    It is quite common for people to file without representation. So long as you and your wife are in agreement, then the process could be quite smooth. Family Law Facilitators are available at courthouses for assistance to pro per litigants. Often, courts will have volunteer attorneys at the case management conferences. The state has a great self-help center at www.courts.ca.gov - check it out and go from there. If there are ever particular issues with which you require attorney assistance, remember that attorneys can often meet for an hour or so and give advice without full representation. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    You can file it without an attorney. Wading through all the forms is a tough job though.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    The small charge you'd pay to have a lawyer is well worth it to avoid those common missteps.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    In a short marriage with no property or kids, it should be uncomplicated to acquire your divorce without the assistance of a skilled family law attorney. If you have any assets, debts, children, retirement and or child and spousal support issues, you take a great risk in proceeding without counsel educating you on your legal rights and options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/17/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    You can do it yourself. Is there any substantial property to be divided? If so, get a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    You can file for divorce pro se, but I would recommend you hire an attorney because the attorney knows the laws, deadlines, and paperwork involved with a divorce. If you and your spouse are indeed amicable, I encourage you to sit down make a list of agreed upon things that you can decide who will get what or take care of what/whom after the divorce (i.e. vehicles, personal property, house(s), custody of the children, if applicable, joint or sole custody). Any time you can go to your attorney with agreements in place it saves your attorney time, and ultimately save you money.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Hemmat
    Law Offices of Steven A. Hemmat | Steven A. Hemmat
    Yes, you can file for divorce without an attorney. Whether that is wise or not is another issue. If you have children, real property, retirement funds or pension, or debts, you should consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    It is not necessary to have an attorney in order to file divorce. If you reside in Maricopa County, the forms and instructions are available at www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    Yes you can. You can get all the forms online or at the courthouse. If the papers become too complicated you can still hire an attorney to help you with a simple uncontested process and keep the fees and fighting to a minimum.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    You can do it yourself, but most people find it a bit challenging to complete all of the necessary paperwork.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    You do not need a lawyer. You can use the services of the free legal self-help center, assuming your local county court still provides such services. Another way to navigate the process is via mediation. The mediator can help you put the parties' agreement into the proper forms and then file all the paperwork with the court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    It is not required that you have an attorney and you can represent yourself; however I strongly suggest against going that route. I get phone calls all the time from people who did their divorce themselves without a lawyer, and then found out that the Settlement Agreement was not drafted properly or did not include necessary provisions given the individual circumstances of the case; and certain issues cannot be "fixed" once the divorce is final if there's a problem.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Most people cannot afford and thus do not use an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    Yes. There is no requirement that you have a lawyer to get divorced. However, depending on how complex your case is, and upon your ability to read and follow court rules and statutes, it may be a good idea to hire one.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
    In Washington state, you can absolutely file for dissolution of your marriage without an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    You can file without an attorney; however, there are many pitfalls including the divorce doesn't get done as neither party knows how to push it thru the system.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Yes. There is no requirement that you have an attorney, although an attorney may be of help in drafting the agreement and helping settle any issues which arise.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    It would be faster and easier to use an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    It depends upon the issues, whether there are children, and the ability of the parties to deal with the legal buracracy. I would say you should start with a lawyer to determine if you have the where with all to proceed alone.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 11/16/2011
    Charles Regan Shaw, PLC
    Charles Regan Shaw, PLC | Charles R Shaw
    Why are seeking legal advice if you don't want to use a lawyer?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    There is no rule against it.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/3/2013
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