Pro se (Kitchen Table)
In the pro se model, parties do not hire attorneys to help them negotiate an agreement, or process any required legal documents with the court system. They negotiate their agreements on their own, which is why this model is frequently referred to as the “kitchen table” model. If parties are divorcing, they prepare and file all the necessary documents by themselves, including the initial summons and petition, any motions and affidavits, financial disclosure statements, written agreements, and the final judgment of divorce. In many areas of the state, the county court system has form documents available to parties who are proceeding pro se. The parties may also use books or internet resources for information and assistance with the process. In the pro se model, the parties negotiate and draft their final divorce agreement, and then present it to the court for approval. If they are unable to reach agreement on all issues, they should be prepared to gather the information the judge will need to decide the issues, present their case to the court by calling witnesses, presenting documentary evidence as appropriate, and telling the court why their requests should be granted. The judge or family court commissioner will then make the final decisions.