The Perils of Representing Yourself Without A Lawyer

The family court can be daunting for many reasons: the time, the stress, the emotions, and certainly the money. If it’s in your future, whether you’re a plaintiff or defendant, it may be tempting to handle your case yourself. You’re free to represent yourself and, of course, you are likely most familiar with the actual facts. So why should you hire a Greenville, SC family law attorney?

First and most obvious: you need someone who knows the law. Knowing the facts of your case is only half the battle. You need to be familiar with the laws, and how they will affect your case, if you want to win. And it’s not just statutes, either: case law, local court rules, and rules of civil procedure are also relevant. If you don’t know an important rule or legal standard, your case could be jeopardized or destroyed. A Greenville, SC family law attorney will have the experience needed to navigate the law and its complexities.

Deadlines are a part of any court case. There are deadlines to file or reply to court pleadings and other documents. There are deadlines to answer discovery requests or respond to a subpoena. An order could establish important time frames for the parties as well. The court system relies upon deadlines to ensure that cases progress to resolution. Not all deadlines are readily apparent, especially if you are not familiar with the subject matter involved. Missing a date or time limit could be problematic or land you in trouble with the judge. A significant part of what your Greenville, SC family law attorney does, therefore, is managing deadlines.

Other than the plaintiff and defendant, there are potentially numerous individuals that could be involved in your case. Witnesses, family members, social workers, employers, and third parties may play a role. Each of these individuals and entities will have certain information relevant to your matter. An experienced Greenville, SC family law attorney will know who might be needed to help you win. Your attorney will also know which witnesses or other parties will not prove useful to your case.

Understanding legal terms (not just the law itself) is something with which your Greenville, SC family law attorney can assist. An example of when this may arise is with a process known as discovery. Discovery refers to the methods by which either party in a case attempts to gather all relevant information. These methods include interrogatories, requests for production, requests for admission, subpoenas and depositions. Lawyers use “legalese” throughout the discovery process. Certain words and phrases will not be familiar to someone inexperienced with the law. An attorney guides you through all of this.

Managing communications is a significant part of any domestic matter. During your case, you can expect to exchange information with the court, opposing counsel, and other parties. There are rules that govern how to communicate with judges. When it comes to interacting with the opposing side, you’ll want to make sure you don’t inadvertently reveal sensitive information. Your attorney safeguards your information and makes sure that key facts are communicated properly and at the right time.

Last but not least, you need an attorney who can exercise objective judgment in your case. If you’re going through a custody battle, for instance, your emotions are probably running high. More than likely, you are only going to see the facts in the light most favorable to you. This can severely limit your perspective and hurt your case. It’s essential to have someone who can examine your case from the outside. A Greenville, SC attorney will view the facts for what they really are and will give you honest, realistic expectations.

Talk To A Greenville, SC Family Law Attorney

Regardless of what sort of domestic case you’re going through, you need a skilled litigator on your side. The right lawyer will be familiar with the legal system, and will know how best to advocate for your interests. Don’t go it alone and risk being taken advantage of by experienced family law lawyers on the other side. Contact Greenville Family Law today to speak about your case.

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