A common complaint for people trying to get help from the family court is that the employees and clerks at the court are not very helpful. It can be extremely frustrating to deal with the court when trying to figure out where to file a form, how to pay a filing fee, or where to ask the judge for a schedule change.
Some of the issues people have with the family court may be due to typical government bureaucracy. It may not make sense to the average person who has to deal with the family court why the court does things the way they do. Even the court workers may not understand why things are done the way they are but they are unlikely to change anytime soon.
Getting Help From the Court May Be Considered Legal Advice
The other issue when dealing with getting help from the court is that court employees are not allowed to do certain things that may seem simple to the person looking for help. In Missouri, like other states, there is a strict limitation on who can provide legal advice.
Giving legal advice without being licensed to practice law in the state may be illegal. The courthouse policies are generally very conservative in what they consider to be legal advice and this may seem like court employees won't give you a simple answer. This is why the common response to even a simple question is that you need to talk to a lawyer.
Do it Yourself Approach to Family Law
When handling a legal matter in court, there are generally only two people who can represent you: a lawyer or yourself. You can represent yourself in your legal matters, which is known as being pro se. However, this means that you generally have to do everything yourself. The court may provide some good resources for researching your family law issue, whether it involves:
- Filing for divorce,
- Filing for child custody,
- Seeking maintenance, or
- Enforcing family court orders.
This may take time to research the issue, make sure you have the proper forms, and file the documents in the right place, at the right time, and with the proper filing fees. It can be frustrating to deal with the court requirements and is rarely simple or straightforward. This is one of the benefits of talking to an experienced family law attorney is that they are familiar with the process.
When is it Time to Hire a Lawyer?
Instead of deciding whether or not you need to hire a lawyer, the simplest step is to simply make a phone call. Calling a trusted Missouri family law attorney for a consultation will provide you with the answers you need and you can stop spending countless hours on the internet trying to find the answers to a question your lawyer can answer in a few minutes.
Some simple family law issues that you may be able to handle on your own may include an uncontested divorce that generally requires filing a few forms, paying a fee, and waiting for a hearing with a judge. However, if there are any serious issues in dispute, a lawyer may be able to help you avoid bigger problems down the line.
One problem with handling a case pro se is that court orders are generally binding. This means that once the court makes a decision, it can be difficult to change that order. For example, filing for divorce without requesting alimony may mean that a spouse misses out on the chance to get spousal maintenance, even if they would have been eligible for maintenance payments.
Experienced Missouri Family Law Attorney
A consultation with an experienced Missouri family lawyer can save you the hassle and headaches of trying to take on a complex legal issue on your own. Your lawyer will also be able to give you options, so you can make the best choice for you and your family. If you have family law questions, Joshua Wilson Law Firm is here to help. Contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm today by calling (816) 331-9968 or fill out our online form.