“Can’t I Just File the Papers Myself?”

Sometimes, a case does not seem to be very complicated at all.  And sometimes a case really is that simple.  Does that mean you should just file the papers yourself?

Some potential clients will sometimes turn to one or more of the following solutions in a family law case:

1.  LegalZoom, or a similar company with self-help forms;

2.  The forms prepared by the Oregon Judicial Department;

3.  Document preparation services run by non-lawyers.

What do all of these solutions have in common?

A lawyer is not taking the time and care necessary to help you feel confident you are really accomplishing your goals.  Remember, a lawyer is the only person who has the qualifications necessary to help ensure you are protected.

“Self-help” forms are often prepared using the lowest common denominator, and may not help you avoid unintended consequences.  Just like a good doctor, a good lawyer will ask you many questions, and take the time necessary to make sure you are on the right track.  Oftentimes, our clients come to us because of self-help documents that have unintended consequences–going back and fixing something with a lawyer can be more expensive than just having a lawyer take care of things for you the first time around.  If something is important and may affect your legal rights, hire a lawyer to give you the piece of mind you deserve.


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