Limited Scope Representation is a way to make legal representation more affordable for people who may not be able to afford full legal representation, but might be helped by a partial representation nonetheless. While there are definite advantages to hiring an attorney to handle the entire case, sometimes litigants might choose to try to self-represent because of financial concerns. Considering the complexities of the law, there are likely spots where the self-represented litigant could use some help understanding terminology, repercussions and strategy. Limited Scope Representation is collaboration between attorney and self-represented litigants that makes an attorney an affordable option.
Family law is much better suited for Limited Scope Representation than many other fields of law because it is an area more suited to the division of tasks between the attorney and the self-represented litigant. One of the more popular ways of handling the division of tasks is having an attorney conduct document review. The St. Louis County Courthouse provides a website with automated PDF forms for litigants to fill out. There are some instructions on the site as well.
The best candidates for LSR are intelligent, well-organized, detail oriented, practical people. They are teachable. However, you must realize when you need help. . Also, it is of paramount importance that the person is also not overwrought with the emotional situation at hand and can take on parts of the problem with a business-like manner instead. This last piece, understandably, can be a tall order in an emotional situation like a divorce.
I will not put any limitations on the service necessarily by income, but lower income people are generally the best candidates. Fewer assets generally translate to a less complicated case. Additionally, the more agreement on child care provisions, the better. An ideal candidate may not even have children. The lower conflict the case is, the more appropriate it is for limited scope representation.
An ideal candidate might be a young professional who has not been married very long and who is just starting their career for instance.
Bottom Line: This is not an ideal situation but it can smooth out what can be an otherwise very rough process without an attorney.