When contemplating filing for a divorce, or being on the other side of the equation, and being the one who has just been served a divorce petition by the other party; one of the first questions most people ask themselves is, "how much is this going to cost me?" Many continue down this path and wonder if they can go it alone. Representing oneself in any official court litigation is referred to as pro se representation. This is, of course, a Latin term (as virtually almost all legal terms are) that translates roughly to "in/on one's own behalf." While it might initially seem like a good idea to represent oneself pro se, it is almost always a very bad idea (for myriad reasons). Even professional divorce attorneys, when faced with their own potential divorce proceedings, hire a divorce attorney to represent them. There is a well-known axiom in the legal world, no matter the type of law involved, and it's universal in every scenario; it is, "never represent oneself in court."
Even it might seem like a significant upfront cost to hire a divorce attorney to help adjudicate one's divorce, it's more than worth it in the long run. The practice of law is nuanced, and few branches of law are more nuanced than divorce law/family law. Even if there are no marital assets or children involved in the divorce proceedings, it can still be an overtly over-complicated and daunting task to navigate without the counsel and support of a professional divorce attorney. Without their expertise and experience, it can be very easy to commit any number of errors out of ignorance or omission. And, as with most legally binding litigation, it can be even more complicated and time-consuming to fix a mistake after it's already become official court record/order. This is where the true value of a divorce attorney comes into play. They are there to be your advocate and are legally required to always put your best interest first. A divorce attorney might be able to determine that a divorce petition isn't even necessary, and the same goal can be achieved with an annulment petition instead (for example). For the inexperienced layman, the difference between the two can be a complete unknown.
Not sure where to start? Not sure if a divorce is even the best option? Consult a divorce attorney, and ask for their professional advice and guidance. You'll be glad you did.