Do you NEED a lawyer to handle your divorce? UPDATED.

Facing the end of a marriage, it often seems like the expenses are towering and the assets are few. In such circumstances, given the current state of the economy, it's completely understandable that you might be tempted to try to handle your divorce without lawyers (or pro se, in lawyer-speak).

Oregon has taken steps to help potential litigants to handle their divorces without the assistance of counsel by making forms available to the public. You can find information about potentially handling your own divorce at the Lane County Court website, as well as the Lane County Family Court Assistance Office. I encourage all my potential clients to have a look at the site and to determine if they think they can navigate the system on their own. For some, self-help gives them a sense of power over the proceedings. Others feel that it's too much to handle at an already tumultuous time in their lives. If your spouse has retained an attorney, or if you feel like you cannot be your own best advocate at this time, I encourage you to hire an attorney. Most of the modifications I see could have been avoided if the couple had had sound legal advice at the time they divorced.

Whether you opt to represent yourself or to retain a lawyer, it's good to understand that you do have options in the process as you move forward.

I am happy to meet with you for an initial consultation where we go over your rights under the law. I can help you with the paperwork or simply give you some heads-up as to unique difficulties your own situation might present. You can email me or call my office at 541-844-0625.

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