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Divorce Without An Attorney – Self Representation

March 11, 2014

 

You know, many, many, many people are foregoing attorney driven divorces now for self-representation. It’s almost a movement. The unfortunate thing, I feel, is there’s not enough legitimate support and assistance for those people who really want to self represent, who really want to have control of the process, so that their actual needs get heard and expressed on the particular government forms, or declarations, or their request for orders. People have a right to take care of themselves in these circumstances, and they have every capacity and ability to do it. We do it every day, day in and day out. For years, we’ve done it through this clinic. It works. People do not need attorneys to get a divorce. They do not need mediators to get a divorce. They need someone to facilitate the process that has a skill set that can manage conflict if it arises, can manage emotions because there are profound emotions. It’s a very human process.

The movement of self-help, where people are fed up with the old paradigm of attorneys drawing out cases, and more paperwork and more filing and more drama, all of that. People are fed up with it. They truly are, and they’re trying to find a way to help themselves. Go Divorce Clinic is here to do just that. To help them control the process of their own dissolution, to help them control the outcome because they’re co-creating it, not lawyers and not a judge. Their alternatives without lawyers? A mediator, perhaps. But many times mediators are lawyers. And mediators aren’t really about, in my opinion, self-representation. Supporting and encouraging self-representation. Mediators are looking for the problem between two disputing parties that they can solve. But it’s still not what I feel people need that are moving through a divorce process.

What they need is to actually have what’s important to them listened to, understood and expressed in the appropriate legal paperwork that needs to be submitted to the court. And that’s what we are doing. We are helping couples who can cooperate self-represent themselves and come to an agreement without attorneys or mediators. They don’t ever have to go to hearing. They don’t ever have to go to court. That makes the family court system very happy because they’re plenty bogged down with people who are struggling with attorney-driven divorces. So, empowering the people to empower themselves is a big part of what Go Divorce Clinic is about and we assist them in that endeavor. We prefer working with couples who cooperate. It stream lines the process, it’s less expensive, it takes a lot less time, it preserves dignity.

If there’s a co-parenting relationship beyond the dissolution, it enhances for a more optimal relationship between mother and father after. That’s what we’re focused on at Go Divorce Clinic. Because we know that’s what’s best for the people that walk in our office, and it’s what’s best for the children who don’t come into the office, who don’t have a voice. This is what people need, and this is the kind of service and the spirit with which they get it at Go Divorce Clinic.

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