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Should I Represent Myself In My Divorce?

If you have children, real estate, a business or retirement assets the answer is generally no. However, the answer to this question also depends on your comfort level with representing yourself, your skillset, willingness to give time to your case, and the complexity of the issues involved. Sometimes representing yourself is the only option because you can’t afford to pay for a lawyer.

In Missouri, the Supreme Court has approved forms to assist people who want or need to represent themselves.

The first step is to complete the Litigant Awareness Program. This is an online program that you can complete at selfrepresent.mo.gov. If you are representing yourself, you must watch the program and then print the Certificate of Completion at the end of the page to file a copy with the court. This is the first step in representing yourself in any family law case.

Once you have completed the Litigant Awareness Program you can then proceed to complete the forms on your own. These court-approved forms can also be found at selfrepresent.mo.gov.

If you are thinking about representing yourself, we offer consultations with you to review the paperwork that you have already completed before you come in for the appointment. This saves you money because you complete the forms yourself, but you meet with us prior to filing those forms with the court. You are doing the legal work and we are reviewing to make sure you have everything you need before you file your case.

At the conclusion of the consultation, you can then decide whether to proceed with representing yourself or not. If you do decide to represent yourself then you will have had an attorney review the forms before you file them with the court and the attorney can give you an idea of what to expect when you appear in court to represent yourself. Our consult fee for this review service is $250. These appointments last 1 ½-2 hours. If you decide you need representation at the consult, we can discuss additional fees at that time.