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Family law: Self-representation could be harder on the pocketbook

For those who think they want to go it alone in court when it comes to issues pertaining to family, they might want to rethink their stance. Family law litigation cases in Alberta can be extremely complex and individuals who are bent on self-representation, believing it can save them money, may be sorely misguided. Statistics show that representing oneself in family court can actually cost more than having experienced legal counsel.

When a litigant has the resources to hire a lawyer, but chooses to represent him or herself in family court, the cost could be much higher financially and emotionally -- especially in cases that are drawn out over years. Many things could backfire in a family court for someone who chooses self-representation. More judges have been quick to be critical of those who choose self-representation as a hopeful tactical measure even when they have the means to hire a lawyer.

Although self-representation is a litigant's right, an individual should weigh the pros and cons of that decision based on many personal benchmarks. Emotional turmoil may be reduced significantly by having experienced legal counsel handle the litigation process. It is not the job of a family court judge to be an advocate for someone who represents him or herself, either.

Having a lawyer who is experienced in Alberta family law advocating for a client in family court may not only save money in the long run, but may help the case to come to a timely and less stressful completion. Divorce is never easy and the process may become even more complicated without proper representation in court. Although a lawyer cannot guarantee a particular outcome, he or she will always work with the client's best interests in mind.

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