Legal Question in Family Law in Maine

My ex-husband has wealthy parents and a wealthy girlfriend (with whom he just had a child) willing to pay his attorney fees (he's unemployed). I do not have family money and my children and I live on what I make. My ex repeatedly tells me he will bankrupt me and is refusing to mediate with our GAL, he wants to go to trial instead. I don't want to spend the little I have on any more attorney fees. What will happen if I don't hire an attorney and he has one? Can I represent myself in court?

Asked on 1/29/12, 6:43 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Heidi Pushard Law Office of Heidi M. Pushard

The decision whether or not to hire an attorney is one only you can make. Maine does allow you to represent yourself, but the courts will hold you to the same standard of knowledge as an attorney with respect to procedure, evidence, rules, time deadlines, etc. In my opinion, an unrepresented individual is at a distinct disadvantage when there are contested issues and the other party is represented by counsel. I would consider what is at stake for you and your family if you are unsuccessful with respect to the issues at hand (i.e. primary residency, child or spousal support, assets, etc.). Consider whether financial losses in these areas could possibly surpass the amount you would have to pay an attorney.

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Answered on 1/30/12, 8:03 am

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