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Proposed program could help Puebloans facing divorce, custody cases

An estimated 80% of Puebloans facing domestic-related court hearings do so without an attorney to help navigate the complicated process of divorce, child custody or child support cases.

A renewed initiative overseen by the Colorado Supreme Court would allow for licensed legal paraprofessionals, or paralegals, to practice family law and help those who cannot afford an attorney.

“With family law there is no opportunity to get a public defender like you can in a criminal case, so if you cannot afford a lawyer, you are on your own,” said Wes Hassler, of Hassler Law Firm in Pueblo. “With a high number of litigants appearing without attorneys it slows the judicial process and costs taxpayers money.”

Hassler is among 20 Colorado attorneys who make up the Colorado Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission. Hassler represents southern Colorado.

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