It seems like common sense to work with a Scarborough divorce lawyer. After all, Ontario law can be complex and confusing; if you have to worry about issues such as child custody and the division of your assets, you might feel like it’s foolish to navigate divorce without a lawyer.

That means you might be surprised to find out that your ex is not working with a lawyer and plans to represent himself or herself.

Is it Really that Simple?

Your divorce might take longer than it would have if you’d both hired Scarborough divorce lawyers, because the courts require divorcing couples to follow specific protocol. However, that’s not necessarily true. Your ex might be fine without a lawyer. You, on the other hand, have to watch out for a few things, including making concessions out of sympathy.

It’s natural to feel sympathetic toward your ex if he or she doesn’t have a lawyer, and that’s okay. However, avoid making concessions that you wouldn’t ordinarily make because you feel sorry for him or her. If your ex plays on your emotions and tries to get you to feel badly, particularly if he or she claims financial hardship, it’s a huge red flag. You should let your lawyer know what your ex is up to so that he or she can take the proper legal precautions to protect you.

Where Will Your Ex Go for Legal Advice?

Your ex can’t talk to your lawyer for advice (that would defeat the point of you having a lawyer, wouldn’t it?), so where will he or she turn for legal advice?

There are a number of websites that outline general family law information, and legal libraries are readily available to the public. Unfortunately, many of them neglect to cover every topic; nothing can replace in-person, case-specific advice that only a lawyer can give.

If your ex does go through your divorce without legal representation, your lawyer will tell you what to expect in and out of the courtroom. As long as your ex is careful about the paperwork he or she submits and knows how to behave in court (if necessary), your divorce should go fairly smoothly; if not, your lawyer can correct the issues and help you move forward.