FAQ: Do I need to hire a lawyer for child custody in New Jersey?
I always make it a point to tell people that while everyone should have a lawyer for any legal matter, I’m not trying to twist their arm to convince them to hire my firm. Our record speaks for itself. Handling any legal matter without a lawyer is just crazy in my opinion. Do a lot of people go to court without representation? Sure but most of these people are from the lower-middle class or below and it is often in the “FD” docket. If you just have no money at all, then this really isn’t a debate. However, if you can hire a lawyer, then you should even if it might be difficult financially. I always use this example: if you need surgery, would you go to the hospital and let the surgeon handle it or would you handle it yourself? Everyone says they would go to the hospital so then why would you not hire a lawyer?
So, while the court will not force you to hire a lawyer, going it alone is often a horrible idea. The system doesn’t always take you serious when you handle your case pro se. Some people fall into a false sense of security in that they go to court without a lawyer and they win. Thus, they go again, and again, etc. However, this is like a game of Russian roulette. Eventually it may catch up to you and when it does, it can be very ugly.