The hope of saving money by representing yourself in your Pittsburgh family law matter is something that in the end may unfortunately back fire on you. At the start of your dispute it may seem like a great idea and you will think you can handle the case, but you may not feel this way after a few months of litigation. The legal system is complicated so it may be in your best interest to hire a PA family law attorney. Though you may end up spending money, the stress and time having an attorney will save you may be worth it. If you want to know exactly why we suggest hiring a Western Pennsylvania family lawyer, here is some information on the three most commonly made mistakes by self-represented litigants.
1. Failing to challenge a child support calculation
Many times, we have had Pittsburgh child support clients come to us after representing themselves in a matter that involved child support. Those clients feel overburdened and stressed because the child support may be eating up half of their income. By the time we review the calculations and figure out that the client did not ask for proof, for example, of daycare payments he or she is being made to pay, or that client did not present proof of past payments made, it is clear the client would have saved a lot of money by coming to us first.
2. Failing to make proper objections
If you fail to make objections that certain evidence was let in improperly or that the court did not follow proper procedure in making a ruling, you may lose your right to appeal your case on certain grounds. Of course, many self-represented litigants do not know the rules of procedure or evidence well enough to make the right objections. So, for example, if the judge made a decision in your case based on hearsay evidence of child abuse and you did not object to the evidence at the time it was offered, you may lose your right to appeal the judge’s decision on that ground.
3. Failing to file documents in a timely manner
As a self-represented party to a Pennsylvania divorce, do you know how many days you have to exchange financial documents with the other party? How about when the other party serves you with a counter-petition? When you fail to file documents in a timely manner, you can face hefty sanctions from the court which include payment to the other side for their attorneys’ fees and costs, as well as, in the most extreme cases, the striking of your pleadings. The striking of your pleadings could mean a default judgment against you which means you lose your case by default.
Do not take chances with your Pittsburgh family law matter. Do it right the first time by hiring a skilled and professional PA family law attorney. Do not be intimidated into thinking you cannot afford an attorney. Contact our lawyers at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates today to schedule a consultation so that you can see how we can serve you.