Pro se representation

Pro se means “for self.” In the court context, pro se litigants are individuals who represent themselves rather than being represented by lawyers. In most states, individuals and lawyers file forms in court called “appearances.” The appearance forms advise the court who will be representing the parties so the court can communicate with the individuals or their representatives. Lawyers cannot appear in court or sign court documents on behalf of clients unless an appearance form has been filed. In the Collaborative Practice model, the parties file pro se appearance forms and their individual lawyers assist them with the paper work and filing. This facilitates an essential term of the collaborative divorce; namely, that the collaborative lawyers will be replaced by adversarial lawyers if the Collaborative process cannot achieve resolution. The adversarial lawyers will then file their appearances in court and proceed to litigate the case.