If I have all the documents to file for divorce, can I do it without my lawyer?

Our lawyer prepared our documents a mediator he’s taking advantage of us and asking for more money. Everything is done and I can bring it in to the court myself. Is that allowed?

We must get this done soon.

Asked on April 4, 2016 under Family Law, Maine


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you may file your own divorce, and if you currently have an attorney, you may fire them in order to do it yourself. You will have to fire the attorney unless the lawyer agrees to let you do this--as long as he/she is your attorney, you can't be fiing papers in court without his/her consent (since otherwise you'd be filing effectively under his/her name without consent, making him/her liable for any problems, errors, etc.). You may have to file a "substitution of attorney" form with the court, stating that your lawyer is not your lawyer any more, but you are rather representing yourself pro se (on your own). And you will owe the lawyer for all work done up through when you discontinued their representation of you.

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