Representing yourself in court may seem like a good way to save money, but it could be costly in the long run. According to a recent story, a woman and her husband separated, considering divorce. She reported that she spent upwards of $15,000 in legal fees in a single year, which is why she decided to represent herself. The problem is that there are many issues that can prevent a person from representing oneself safely, and not using a lawyer can lead to costly mistakes, like speaking out of turn or telling a court too much about your situation.
For one thing, it’s possible for an opposing lawyer to have a case thrown out with a summary judgment. Without the knowledge of the law that lawyers have, a self-representing individual may not have a way to fight back.
Another thing is the absolute stress of working in litigation. One woman passed away after six years of intense litigation related to her property; her husband reported that he can’t say it’s from the litigation itself, but the stress was a problem along with being no closer to a resolution; on top of that, he’s also lost his wife.
Another option for those who want to represent themselves is to be coached by a lawyer. At the very least, this allows individuals to ask for advice and to allow a lawyer to talk them through particularly difficult moments in the case. If the lawyer is needed for any reason, he or she is also familiar with the case and can step in to represent the client.