Pro Se Divorce on the Rise
Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 12, 2012 - Divorce courts these days are seeing a lot fewer lawyers—and a lot more spouses choosing to represent themselves, a practice known as pro se.
However, family attorneys warn that saving money on legal representation might cost people their rightful assets.
“I am concerned that anyone getting divorced without legal representation may not be getting a fair deal when it comes to their financial concerns,” said O. Reginald Osenton, a Tampa bankruptcy lawyer. “In many cases, they may not fully understand their rights and remedies.”
Bad economic conditions prevailing across much of Florida and the rest of the nation mean that there are fewer assets for divorcing couples to fight over. Moreover, Internet resources providing basic legal forms and other information are increasing in number.
The collapse of housing prices has also contributed to the rise in pro se divorces. Before the collapse, home equity often represented the largest single asset to be divided in a breakup. But the precipitous drop in the market has eliminated that factor for many couples.
According to a report in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 55 percent of divorce cases in Sarasota and Manatee counties in the past five years have had one or both parties electing to represent themselves.
Many counties have governmental or non-profit legal resources to provide assistance for individuals who choose to represent themselves in court cases. However, as counties face budget crunches due to falling tax revenue, these resources are often stretched thin. For instance, Gulfcoast Legal Resources used to provide pro bono representation in family law cases, but was unable to secure further grant funding and was forced to close the program.
“Saving a few dollars through self-representation can be tempting, but clearly, public resources are not always up to the task of helping those who choose this route,” added Mr. Osenton. “Couples seeking divorce should strongly consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney, at the very least.”
Osenton Law Office, PA
500 Lithia Pinecrest Road
Brandon, Florida 33511
Call: (813) 654-5777
- Despite decline, Tampa leads big cities in foreclosures
A recent report on national foreclosure statistics paints an improving, but still unfortunate, picture for Tampa, Florida, homeowners. First, the good news. The Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area has seen a 23 percent decline in home foreclosures in the past year — one of the largest decreases among large U.S. cities. Now, the bad news. Despite […]
- Woman’s handwritten note insufficient to revoke will
The heirs of a deceased New York woman received an object lesson in the importance of taking proper, legally enforceable action when altering a will. Some years before Patricia Powers died, she apparently wished to revoke her existing will entirely, and attempted to do so by writing a note to that effect on the will’s […]
- Chapter 13 can help those saddled with student loan debt
A recent story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette highlights an increasingly common strategy for dealing with unmanageable student loan debt: Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you have student loans, you may already be aware that those debts cannot be discharged under Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation except in very limited cases. Under Chapter 13 reorganization, however, debtors agree […]
See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: brandon bankruptcy attorney, brandon bankruptcy attorneys, brandon bankruptcy lawyer, brandon bankruptcy lawyers, brandon lawyers, tampa bankruptcy attorney, tampa bankruptcy attorneys, tampa bankruptcy lawyer, tampa bankruptcy lawyers