Can I represent myself if I have a lawyer?


I’ve had two lawyers and spend $70K of personal savings in a divorce case that is now 2 years old. A series of bad decisions and some poor lawyering (in my opinion) I am out of money but am no closer to a settlement than when I started. Arguably I am farther from a settlement than when I started. I want to represent myself with respect to:
a. Seeking Judicial Review of decision made by a Parenting Coordinator.
b. Seeking Judicial Enforcement of a subpoena served 2 months ago for which complete document disclosure (i.e. tax records) has not been delivered.
c. Seeking Judicial Order to appoint a psychological evaluator so that process can begin and we can step closer to a Permanent Custody Trial.

Despite attempting to represent myself - I do not want to remove my Attorney from the case. Two reasons: a) It won’t look good to the judge if I have unsuccessfully used two attorneys in this matter and b) when my ex-wife learns that I am no longer represented by an attorney she will intensify her legal moves and siege advantage. My questions are:

  1. Can I represent myself in divorce court (Meckenburg County) if I have an Attorney of Record?
  2. Is there any reason (other than opportunity cost of lost billings) that my Attorney would object to representing myself?
  3. If my lawyer wants to Withdraw but I do not sign a Consent to Withdraw - how can I inscent her to stay in the case? I’m relatively current in what I owe to her ($700 balance). I don’t want her to fire me as her client but I also don’t want to keep paying her.

Your input is very appreciated. Thank you,


No, you must either represent yourself, or keep your lawyer. Your attorney can withdraw without your consent. If you would like to keep your lawyer in the case, you will need to pay her.