Is there any way to file for divorce without the use of a lawyer?

UPDATED: May 29, 2012

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Is there any way to file for divorce without the use of a lawyer?

My wife and I split due to her infidelity 3 years ago. She has already given birth to another man’s child and I would like to file without the use of a lawyer due to my financial situation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated thanks

Asked on May 29, 2012 under Family Law, California


Michael Gainer / Michael J. Gainer, Attorney At Law

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can always pursue and finalize a divorce without a lawyer, but you want to make sure you do it right.  Attorneys help people do this.  I'd be especially concerned about making sure you are not responsible for the child if it is not yours.

In Washington State, we use a lot of court-approved forms that set out the required language, but filling them out involving someone's specific facts takes experience and an understanding of what is allowed.  We also have family law court facilitators hired by our counties who help people fill out the forms. 

You may want to contact the county court where you reside and see if they have any free or low-cost assistance.  Be careful of internet help that is not from the county or state.  Also, remember that you get what you pay for.  You want it done right.  I'd recommend investing an hour or so with an attorney.  Some even provide an intial free consultation.  

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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