A divorce can be an emotional and challenging time for both parties involved, and deciding on whether or not to hire a divorce attorney is not always something a former couple will agree upon. If you have decided to retain a lawyer, but your spouse has chosen not to, there are several things you can do to protect yourself and make the divorce process go as smoothly as possible.

How to Proceed

A divorce can still take place even if one of the parties refuses to hire a lawyer. If a party chooses to represent themselves, they are referred to as a pro se spouse. Pro se comes from the Latin phrase meaning “on one’s own behalf”. Your spouse would be acting as their own attorney. Both parties can still file for divorce, but your attorney will communicate directly with your spouse instead of with another attorney.

The Benefits of Hiring Divorce Attorneys

Even non-contested divorces can seem complicated to someone who is not familiar with legal terms and the paperwork necessary to complete a divorce. There are documents that need to be filed with the appropriate clerks that often have specific deadlines. If a deadline isn’t met or an important document is missed, a divorce can take longer and end up costing more.

If a case goes to court, your lawyer will speak to the judge on your behalf, whereas a spouse who does not have representation will have to speak for themselves. With cases involving child custody and support, not having a lawyer can negatively impact a party’s chances of getting a fair settlement or ruling from the Court if they are not adequately prepared to represent themselves.

How We Protect You

Ellmann & Ellmann, PC are highly skilled Douglas County, Castle Rock divorce lawyers that always have their client’s best interests in mind. We are very experienced at handling cases with a pro se spouse. The only communication we will have with your pro se spouse is to exchange necessary documents pertaining to your case and engage in negotiation, as we would with an attorney if they were to retain one.