Family law clients are often surprised to hear that family law attorneys actually prefer to litigate or negotiate with a represented other party as opposed to a pro se other party (a.k.a. unrepresented party). This article discusses some of the potential pitfalls of working with unrepresented parties. Most of the pitfalls contribute to these types of cases taking more client and attorney resources than cases where both parties are represented.
Most of the time, pro se parties do not know all of the rules and procedures for this type of case. It is difficult to work with someone who does not know the court rules, applicable laws, and strict timelines that are part of our daily work as family law attorneys. Sometimes, we deal with pro se opposing parties that do not turn things in on time or otherwise confuse court rules and are given a pass by the commissioner or judge because they are pro se. This is frustrating to clients and attorneys alike. Continue reading