According to a report in the Star Tribune, Minnesota’s marriage rate is declining. In 1940, the rate was 76 percent. By 2000, the rate was 52 percent, and in 2010, it had dropped to 48 percent. Many younger people are simply delaying marriage, but divorce has a lot to do with declining marriage rates, too. People without college degrees are not staying married. Low income can lead to marriage instability, which leads to divorce.
If you do not have a lot of income, you may consider representing yourself in a divorce, almost like a do-it-yourself project. In legal terms, this is called pro se. You have the right to act as your own counsel, but the question is whether it is a good idea to represent yourself in a divorce. Yes, you do save money by filing your own paperwork and handling the court process, but you should consider the disadvantages as well.
- There is a lot of paperwork for child custody, support, name changes and property title changes. One small error could be devastating to your divorce.
- You will have no help from the judge or the other lawyer if you act as your own attorney. You will have to be completely prepared when you come to court, even if you do not know what to prepare for.
- You will not have a buffer between you and your spouse, a role an attorney often takes to keep you from fighting over the details of your divorce.