Queensbury, NY asked in Divorce for New York

Q: Can a paralegal write a stipulation of settlement for a divorce filing without a lawyer involved?

A friend says he can prepare all the divorce paperwork for me and my wife, and write up a stipulation of settlement also. I thought a lawyer would have to be involved somehow, but my friend says he can do it all by himself. He's a paralegal. It that legal?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer

Robert B. Pollack

PREMIUM
Answered
  • Jericho, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: The role and permitted duties of paralegals differ throughout the USA. In some states, paralegals are licensed and can perform certain functions that an attorney would otherwise have to do. Paralegals cannot practice law; only attorneys can do that. However, there is no legal requirement in NY that anyone particular must write a stipulation of settlement. The parties themselves can write it. So long as it comports with the applicable laws to be able to enforce it, contains any mandatory language and/or calculations that the particular jurisdiction may require and is executed in accordance with the local requirements, there should be no issue. But it must never be forgotten that a Stipulation is a contract and so parties who decide to do it themselves or utilize a para professional or even a non-attorney mediator may find themselves regretting not having obtained sound legal advice prior to their becoming bound to a contract that is very difficult to escape from.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.