In some cases, the use of a lawyer is mandatory to be represented in court. This is the case before the tribunal de grande instance, that is to say for all disputes involving a sum in excess of € 10,000, the cases of succession and filiation (action for paternity, adoption …) . Moreover, before the family judge, representation by a lawyer is also compulsory for all divorce proceedings : thus, even if you divorce by mutual consent, you will necessarily have to call upon a lawyer.
The lawyer is not compulsory for other cases: alimony , conclusion of a PACS , problem when breaking a PACS or concubinage (distribution of property, custody of children.). However, although optional, you can still seek the assistance of a lawyer. This choice may be wise, especially if your case is complex, for several reasons:
– the lawyer is not only a defender: even if you do not want to go to trial, his services can be very useful. He can write legal documents on your behalf, advise you in your procedures (for an adoption for example), or assist you in an amicable negotiation.
– the lawyer can advise you as to the advisability of the procedure you wish to initiate. Indeed, even if you are convinced that you are in your right, it is better to have the advice of a professional who knows the rules of law and jurisprudence about the problem that concerns you and who will apply them to your particular situation and your needs. The competence of the lawyer is not limited to the encyclopaedic knowledge of the rules of law and legal information. It may be that in your situation, for example, a more conciliatory or mediating measure, which is faster and less confrontational, will be more appropriate.
– the lawyer can help you to set up your file. Acting in the wrong jurisdiction or failing to meet legal deadlines can cause you to lose a lot of time, and seeing your case referred several times without understanding the cause can be very frustrating. A lawyer can help you in all these proceedings and inform you regularly about the course of the procedure. Similarly, you can be sure of the facts you are invoking and are convinced that the law gives you reason, you risk losing your trial if you have not thought of obtaining valid evidence to attach to your file. Again, the advice and the look of a lawyer will be of valuable support.
Good to know: if you can not pay the fees of a lawyer, know that there are many free services organized by the town halls and the different lawyers’ offices: the lawyer you will meet at the office will not be able to to represent you or to assist you during your proceedings, but it can listen to you, advise you and guide you on the procedure to be followed, and notably on the usefulness of whether or not to initiate legal proceedings and whether or not to have recourse to a lawyer. In addition, legal aid organized by the State allows you, if your resources are less than a certain amount, to obtain financial assistance that covers all or part of the legal fees.