Can You Represent Yourself in Court in a Family Law Matter?
The idea may have crossed your mind that self-representation in the Arizona family court system will save you some money. Yes, you can obtain the forms you need online through the Arizona courts website. Still, it does not provide you with every “what if” scenario you may encounter. Understand that trying to navigate the legal system on your own could be a risk. Are you willing to take it?
Family Court Forms Available Online
When you go online to the Arizona court self-service website, you will find family court forms available. The forms are generic and can be accepted by courts all across the state of Arizona. At the bottom of the webpage, there is the following disclaimer:
“The information offered on this site is made available as a public service and is not intended to take the place of legal advice.”
The paragraph also goes on to say before filing, that it may be in your best interest to contact an attorney to guard against any consequences that are undesired or unexpected. This disclaimer is something to heed when thinking about handling your own representation.
The forms available are:
- Dissolution of Marriage (with children)
- Dissolution of Marriage (without children)
- Legal Separation (with children)
- Legal Separation (without children)
- Establishing Child Support
- Modifying Child Support
- Fee Waiver & Deferral
- Derecho Familiar
Why Self-Representation Is Not A Good Idea
The most significant risk you run of self-representation in your family law case is that you have a higher probability of losing the case. The statement isn’t meant to sound negative, but it is more likely to win a case when you have legal counsel present, in any type of case. Without representation, you run a higher risk of not meeting all the technical requirements needed to prove your case. In addition to this, you may not follow all the procedures set forth by the court. When procedures are not followed, cases get dismissed.
As if losing the case is not enough, the judge may even order fees to be paid by you, including the other party’s court costs and attorney fees. You must have an understanding of the family legal system. If you don’t have this, it may be best left to the professionals.
What An Arizona Family Law Attorney Does For You
An Arizona family law attorney betters your chances of winning your case or at least coming to an agreement between you and the other party. Nobody said that family law cases were easy on anyone, and they usually include a child, which makes it even more heart-wrenching at times.
Your attorney will know the law pertaining to your particular case. They will also know what preparations you will need to make when giving a statement or taking the stand. These are minor details you may not know how to complete on your own when you are representing yourself.
Hire An Arizona Family Law Attorney
When you find yourself as a party in an Arizona family court case, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire legal representation. Family law attorneys in Arizona have the education and the knowledge of the family court system in Arizona, giving you a better chance of winning your case. Don’t try to handle the system alone; call now for expert representation.