In this video Memphis attorney Curt Runger answers the question if it is necessary to hire an attorney to obtain a divorce in the state of Tennessee. View the video below or see the transcript to hear Curt’s Response to this important question.
My name is Curt Runger and I’m the Managing member of Douglass & Runger, PLLC which is a Memphis law firm, and we help navigate our clients through the difficult and oftentimes emotional divorce process by protecting what is most important to them. Their minor children and their assets. One question that I routinely get by people who are contemplating a divorce is do I have to get an attorney to handle my divorce and the answer is no, you do not technically have to get an attorney to handle your divorce, you could try to do it yourself and you may be successful doing it, but you can also walk from Los Angeles to New York City, but it’s a lot easier to actually fly there. That is the answer that I would give you and what happens is there’s a lot of misinformation out there, especially on social media about people saying, girl, you don’t need to get an attorney involved you know I paid, you know, a couple hundred dollars for these divorce forms online and I did it myself. The problem with that is number one it’s not true. All right, and the other problem with it is when we found a divorce complaint in Shelby County your case randomly ends up in one of 12 different courtrooms and so you know we have male judges, you know we have female judges. We have strict judges we have judges that are, you know a little bit more laid back, but every one of those courtrooms has a divorce referee, and that divorce referee is basically the gatekeeper between the pro se litigants if you’re trying to represent yourself or the lawyers, if you have a lawyer, and the judge. And so all of these forms that have to get completed in order to get a divorce in Tennessee. They have to be cleared by the divorce referee so the divorce referee goes over all the documents that you may have downloaded online or paid for somebody online and make sure that all the information in there is correct. And the problem is, you’re not an attorney. And so, there’s a disadvantage in the sense that you don’t know how to actually fill out those forms and we see this on a weekly basis in methods. We see people who try to represent themselves, go in front of the judge and a lot of times it’s been the third or fourth time they’ve been unfairly judged, and they still can’t get the forms done correctly and ultimately what happens a lot of time is the judge of the divorce referee just basically tells them hey, you need to go get a lawyer so they end up having to hire a lawyer anyway and they waste a lot of time going through, you know, trying to do all this stuff themselves they get frustrated with the process. And then they ultimately have to get an attorney anyway so the easiest thing to do is just do the smart thing. Tell lawyer involved from the start. If you have questions about the divorce process, please give me a call. My number is 901-388-5805. Once again, my name is Curt Runger, my number is 901-388-5805. Thank you.