Pro se Litigants on the Rise in Florida

Florida Circuit courts are seeing a rise in pro se litigants in divorce cases. Pro se litigants have no formal legal defense and represent themselves in court. Experts surmise the rise in one or more spouses being pro se during a divorce case, is attributed to the economic recession plaguing the entire country.

Reports in Manatee and Sarasota counties state that at least 55% of divorce cases have one pro se spouse. While the obvious, immediate savings may be alluring to spouses looking to save money, there are several down falls to a pro se representation.

Courts are required by law to provide resources to pro se litigants; however, funding for these systems is on the decline. Many agencies that did offer support to pro se spouses have lost grants. There are general study classes that are taught by retired lawyer volunteers, but the volunteers cannot offer legal advice of any sort. They can only explain the process and legal terms. Additionally, lawyers site pro se litigants are likely not getting a fair outcome as they simply are unaware of their rights.

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