We’ve talked about this before – why representing yourself in court is almost always a pretty terrible idea. But like everything in life, if it’s important it’s worth revisiting. And this is definitely important. Because what you do and say in court during divorce proceedings doesn’t just impact your life now and in the immediate future, it can impact your entire life. As in, for the rest of your days, well into your old age.
Divorce law is much more complicated than most people realize.
How is that possible, you wonder? How could a handful of choices made now have such a lasting effect? Well, if you have to ask that question, it’s a clear indicator that you’re not ready to represent yourself in court. Divorce law is hugely complex, and each case is different. Most people don’t actually understand the law very well, and don’t know what their rights are. Many people don’t realize, for example, that some parts of divorce law are actually governed by federal law, so you have to be familiar with both Michigan statutes and federal laws. On top of that, there is a whole book of Michigan’s civil procedural rules to know. Like we said, complex.
Many people have made the mistake of representing themselves…
You wouldn’t be the first person to choose the ridiculous option of representing yourself during a divorce, and you certainly won’t be the last. After all, we spend a good deal of our time helping clients try to clean up their legal messes in the wake of self-represented divorces. Lansing residents who’ve mistaken Google or YouTube videos for an experienced family law attorney learn how much more expensive it can be to hire an attorney to try to fix messes that they themselves created.
Ingham County is full of those sad stories.
Folks from Holt who decided it was better to save a few dollars now, and ended up paying through the nose down the road. People from Dewitt who thought they could “handle” their ex in court because they knew them best. Spouses from Okemos who thought they had agreed “on all the issues” when they didn’t truly understand what “all the issues” were. Parents from East Lansing that had no idea about how one bad decision in a custody or parenting time could affect several other aspects of their case (and their life).
It is usually very costly to undo legal mistakes made during a divorce.
The less fortunate ones don’t even realize the debacle they’ve created for themselves until years afterward. They come to us asking whether we can help them untangle the legal knot they’re twisted up in. And we certainly give it our best shot for those that can afford the added expense of fixing their errors. Try to fix all the mistakes, unpick all the tangles. But it’s not always possible. Representing yourself is an extremely expensive undertaking in the long run. Which is why we encourage everyone to just get a good attorney to represent them right from the start. It may cost extra up front, but the nightmare you’re avoiding in the future is priceless.
Don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Get a good attorney now.
If you’ve ever heard the story of the dog who dropped his bone in the water in order to grab the bigger-looking bone from his reflection, and ended up with nothing, then you understand what we’re trying to say here. Trying to save a buck or two now at the expense of your whole future just doesn’t make sense. So if you live in Williamston, Charlotte, Grand Ledge or anywhere else in Ingham County, and you’re considering ending your marriage, call The Kronzek Firm at (517) 886-1000 to make sure you’ve got an experienced and top rated divorce attorney on your team. We’ve been helping family law clients in mid-Michigan since the last century. Hundreds of cases, in every single family court in this area. We’ve got your back.