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Author Topic: Hypothetical Divorce  (Read 1846 times)

Hoggy

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Hypothetical Divorce
« on: April 16, 2008, 03:48:11 PM »
Say someone received a divorce complaint in Tennessee. They could not afford an attorney but wants to answer the complaint himself. What format or form would someone use to do that? Who would they send that to? What would be a step-by-step process? Thanks

Peaches

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Re: Hypothetical Divorce
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2008, 05:26:17 PM »
Nice try.  Still unethical -- hire a lawyer, call legal aid, or buy a book.  Barnes & Noble has "do it yourself" divorce books.  I assume you have $14.95. 

ColvilleWA

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Re: Hypothetical Divorce
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2008, 05:28:07 PM »
I'm not a law student yet, but i'd say take a credit card loan and ask for attorney's fees from the other party in the initial hearing.

jd2008

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Re: Hypothetical Divorce
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2008, 06:25:14 PM »
you can represent yourself in any state. Not legal advice, just an overt fact open to all who can read books or log onto the internet legal sites.

Dr. Balsenschaft

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Re: Hypothetical Divorce
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2008, 06:32:16 PM »
Just hire a lawyer.  You could end up getting really screwed if you try to represent yourself.  When you think about the amount of money at stake (either the amount of money you could lose or the amount of money you're entitled to that you could fail to receive), you'd be crazy not to hire counsel.  If you can't even get through answering a complaint, how are you going to be able to do anything else in this proceeding? 

I realize getting divorced sucks and I really do feel bad for anyone who has to go through that bull, but don't make it worse on yourself by trying to handle the legal matters without any help.  I realize having to hire an attorney is not fair, but life just kind of sucks sometimes.  Look at it this way, if you owned a house and your furnace *&^% the bed, you'd have to buy a new furnace and pay a plumber an exorbitant fee to install that fvcker.  Nothing you can do about it - you just have to suck it up and pay the plumber.  Getting divorced is the same way.  Except instead of a broken furnace, you have a broken marriage.  And instead of a new furnace, you're single and can start hitting on 19-year-olds again.  Either way, you still have to pay the plumber. 
   

 

spacemule

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Re: Hypothetical Divorce
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2008, 08:32:40 PM »
Plumbers typically do not do HVAC work.   ;D

Dr. Balsenschaft

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Re: Hypothetical Divorce
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2008, 08:38:40 PM »
I think that depends on the licensing laws in your state.  The state where I was living in at the time required a plumber's license for HVAC work. 

jeffislouie

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Re: Hypothetical Divorce
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2008, 08:49:51 PM »
Say someone received a divorce complaint in Tennessee. They could not afford an attorney but wants to answer the complaint himself. What format or form would someone use to do that? Who would they send that to? What would be a step-by-step process? Thanks

Okay.  I'll try to walk you through this one more time.  Please take note of the advice and explanation I am about to give you.
First of all, law students are not allowed to distribute legal advice.  Period.  This rule is one that is important enough (at my school) to be one that all law students now take an oath over.  At my school, a state supreme court justice came to explain the rule and administer the oath.  Failure to abide by the oath can and most likely will result in the offending party not being allowed to sit for the bar exam and can invalidate 3 years and over $100k investment, leaving us unable to practice law.  
Moving on:  How do you know you can't afford an attorney?  Have you spoken to an attorney?  What kind of rate structure was quoted?  Did you speak to anyone else?  Did the attorney listen to your case and quote a fee or are you, like many ill-informed people do, assuming that a lawyer is expensive and that you can't afford it?  If you look, you can probably find an attorney to take your case for anywhere from a few hundred dollars plus a portion of the settlement all the way up to a few thousand.  
Once again, a good place to start is here: http://www.abanet.org/ .  You can also find out if there is a local bar association.  Since you've indicated tennessee as your home state, here is that states bar assoc. website: http://www.tba.org/
From there, you should be able to find legal representation.
As has been mentioned, you can get do it yourself books at the bookstore, but it sounds like you have a received papers already, and that you object to something in those papers.  If this is the case, you will likely need an attorney to properly defend your interests in the matter.
In your other post, you said you were a teacher.  I have a hard time believing that there is no way for you to access funds necessary to retain invaluable competent legal advice.  You can borrow money from your family members, you can take out a credit card loan, you can ask friends for help.  
The only legal advice you will likely get here is the best we can give:
You need a competent lawyer.
You cannot likely do this yourself with any real success.
You can afford a lawyer.
Here's more information for you to look at:
http://www.aboutdivorce.com/
http://research.lawyers.com/Tennessee/Divorce-in-Tennessee.html

This is for informational purposes and should not be misconstrued as legal advice.
Justice is tangy....

rox

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Re: Hypothetical Divorce
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2008, 08:36:15 AM »
Thanks again to those who have replied.
I was posing a hypothetical situation because it was suggested. I am not trying to get anyone in trouble.

I KNOW I NEED an attorney. I have contacted several attorneys. I consulted with 2. Everyone I talked with charged a minimum of $3 K before continuing on, + over $200 an hour when that runs out. If I had the money I wouldn't be asking for help on a message board. I bought a divorce book at Books-a-Million. I went to the library and researched the Tennessee divorce laws. I have looked all over the internet.

I called the court to ask for the appropriate responsive documents. Again I was told they didn't do that - I would have to see an attorney. She gave me the Chancellor's number. I called and got the same. I said I was responding myself and she told me they would not accept it unless it was the proper form.

How do you defend yourself if the attorneys are the only ones who can properly respond?

My next step is going to the court to ask to see other divorce papers since they are of public record, as I was told by another lawyer.

I just want to know where to get the form to answer a complaint or if I type it up myself  what should be in it.

Thanks again


Peaches

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Re: Hypothetical Divorce
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2008, 09:19:15 AM »
http://www.find-attorneys.com/save_divorce_cost.htm. You should be able to find a flat rate of only $1-2k if you only have a few contested issues.  The more contested issues, the more it costs.

We are all in law school for a reason.  People are charging you several thousand dollars for a reason. Doing this stuff yourself is difficult, complicated, and almost always ill-advised.

You don't have the money?  I don't have the money to go to law school, so guess what I'm doing -- borrowing!  I don't think any of us are all that sympathetic to someone who can't set up payments for $3k for, hopefully, one of the most important legal issues you're going to resolve in your life.

And if there are kids involved, and I hope there are not, you are doing them a huge disservice if you're trying to handle this yourself with a book and by asking students on a message board.  ("Daddy loves you son, but he didn't want to get a credit card with 0% APR introductory rate and slowly pay off a $3k lawyer bill.  Daddy also loves cable and cellphone too.")