Home > divorce, divorce modification, family law general, paternity/child custody > To the Pro Se Litigants Out There…

To the Pro Se Litigants Out There…

I hate that it’s this way…But that’s the way it is.

If you are representing yourself in a court action, you are what they call “pro se.”  There are reasons people go to court pro se, but I imagine most of those reasons have to do with not being able to afford an attorney.  I have a lawyer friend who thinks that everyone has money hiding under rocks, and they’re just being cheap if they don’t want to pay to hire a lawyer for their legal cases.  And if you can afford a Wii, X-box, video games, deluxe cable, new computers, iPhones, a new pickup truck, (insert your newest fancy toy here), you probably DO have money hiding under a rock and should just save yourself some misery and hire an attorney to represent you.

But then there are the Others of us, who do not have money hiding under rocks or otherwise, who truly cannot afford to hire an attorney, though we desperately need one.  You are the ones I’m talking to.  You are the ones I’m concerned about.  You may not be able to hire an attorney, but please please PLEASE at least consult with one.  Shoot me an email…  I can show you where to find the forms/instructions/statutes that you’ll need to handle your own case.  I can tell you what is B.S. that you’ve been told by the ex/soon to be ex, and what is actually truth.  I can tell you what you can expect AT A MINIMUM from your family law case.  I can give you the little boost you need to do it on your own.

If you don’t want to consult with me, find another attorney–a COMPETENT one, preferably–who does free consults.  Hell, pay the consultation fee that many charge.  It will save you in the long run.  Just get some info about what you need to do and where you stand under the law.

I cannot work for free.  I just can’t afford it.  I have kids myself, rent, debts that have to be paid, and a couple of old cars that break down regularly.  I so wish I could help EVERYONE who can’t afford a lawyer.  I just can’t.

BUT, please at least educate yourself.  There are links to the state courts’ self-help website in Utah at the right side of this webpage.  Use it.  Read the blog posts about modifying your decree if that’s what you’re doing.  Educate yourself.  Then find a friend who can be your Validation when the other party makes you think you’re crazy, or is being a jerk.  Everyone needs that.  Running your own family law case is emotionally exhausting and mentally taxing.  You will need some support from someone who isn’t as close to your case as you are.

You can do it.  I wish I could help more.  And I’m sorry I can’t :(.

It can be scary, but YOU CAN DO IT!

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  1. Lori Gardner
    August 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Hi Marca, Here is that quote I referred to in our conversation. Thanks again for talking with me today! Lori Gardner

    “Into each of our lives come golden moments of adversity. This painful friend breaks our hearts, drops us to our knees, and makes us realize we are nothing without the Lord and Savior. This friend makes us plead all the night long for reassurance and into the next day and sometimes for weeks and months. But, ultimately, just as surely as the day follows the night, as we remain true and faithful, this strange friend, adversity, leads us straight into the outstretched arms of the Savior” Glen L Pace Oct. Gen Conf. 1992

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