Law Office of Janet Langjahr
Boynton Beach Divorce Lawyer serving
Fort Lauderdale Broward and West Palm Beach County
and, with our network, all of Florida
Attorney licensed in FL, NY, NJ

Boynton Beach, Florida divorce and child custody attorney Janet Langjahr helps you win back control of your lives in family and domestic violence court

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Do You Absolutely Need a Lawyer for Your Divorce or Custody Case?

© 2004, 2005 by Janet Langjahr, Attorney-at-Law

Your interests can always be better represented by an attorney. You already know that.

But are there times when self-representation is, well, "good enough"?

The following are some very general guidelines about the safest situations in which to represent yourself and the riskiest situations for self-representation. Needless to say, these general guidelines may not apply in your particular case.

Safest Self-Representation Cases:
  1. a marriage in which both partners worked throughout the marriage, earn comparable salaries, have no minor children together and have accumulated no property together to speak of, especially if the marriage is very brief to relatively brief

  2. a marriage in which neither partner worked steadily or earns much money, they have no minor children together and they have accumulated no property to speak of, especially if the marriage is very brief to relatively brief

  3. a very brief to relatively brief marriage in which the partners have no minor children together and have accumulated no property to speak of

  4. a marriage in which both partners worked throughout the marriage and earn comparable salaries, have accumulated no property together to speak of and where both partners are excellent, involved parents to their minor children together and each parent wants the other parent to stay very involved in the life of their child(ren)

  5. a marriage in which neither partner works steadily or earns much money, they have accumulated no property to speak of and both partners are excellent, involved parents to their minor children together and each parent wants the other parent to stay very involved in the life of their child(ren)

  6. any marriage in which the partners have no children together and they are aware of and able to agree on how to divide all property and all support issues and, probably, their agreement is not patently unfair

  7. any marriage in which the partners are aware of and able to agree on how to divide all property and all support issues, their agreement provides adequately for the care of the children and reasonable visitation with the non-custodial parent and, probably, their agreement is not patently unfair in regard to financial matters
Riskiest Self-Representation Cases (or Do Yourself a Big Favor and Figure Out A Way to Retain a Lawyer):
  1. either partner has a criminal record

  2. either partner is accused of domestic violence, including child abuse

  3. either partner is accused of sexual abuse

  4. either partner is accused of non-physical abuse (verbal, emotional, psychological, psychic, etc.)

  5. either partner is neglectful and/or irresponsible

  6. either partner suffers from inadequately treated mental illness

  7. either partner has a physical disability or other significant health issue

  8. either partner is not mentally competent (example, Alzheimer's disease)

  9. either partner abuses alcohol or any other substance

  10. either partner is accused of abandonment

  11. either partner is accused of poor parenting skills or judgment

  12. either partner or caretaker of children is accused of illegal immigrant status

  13. either partner is overextended financially and on the verge of bankruptcy

  14. either partner owns a privately held business

  15. either partner has a history of defaulting in financial obligations such as court-ordered support of other children or previous spouse

  16. either partner is believed to be hiding assets

  17. either partner is believed to work for cash payments

  18. either partner has a history of willful refusal to work for a living

  19. either partner has recently moved to another state, particularly if a child of the relationship was taken

  20. either partner has recently moved to another county, particularly if a child of the relationship was taken

  21. either partner has threatened to run off with the children

  22. either partner has tried to limit or interfere with visitation of the children

  23. either partner has badmouthed the other to the children

  24. either partner has stated that the other is able to support the children without assistance

  25. either partner has warned that he or she will not provide any financial support where the other partner may be entitled to it

  26. either partner is just plain disagreeable for the sake of it

  27. the other partner's lawyer is just plain disagreeable for the sake of it

  28. the other partner's lawyer is consistently extremely aggressive, contentious and intimidating

  29. the case has already started and the judge has strongly encouraged you to hire a lawyer or

  30. the case has already started and the judge really doesn't seem to be seeing things your way at all

The Law Office of Janet Langjahr PA
Divorce Law · Child Custody Law · Domestic Violence Law
3330 S. Federal Highway, Suite 208
1 Mile South of Woolbright Road at Bamboo Lane on the northbound side of US 1
Boynton Beach, FL 33435
Voice (561) 424-9001
Fax (561) 892-8442
info@fla-divorcelaw.com
www.FLA-DivorceLaw.com
Licensed in Florida, New Jersey and New York (since 1988)
Serving West Palm Beach County and Fort Lauderdale Broward County, Florida
and, with our network, all of Florida

© 2005 - 2012 Copyright by Law Office of Janet Langjahr PA. All rights reserved. This web site is owned exclusively by Law Office of Janet Langjahr PA and all content on it is protected by US and international copyright laws.