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It is doubtful that any attorney would take a contested dissolution of marriage
case to trial for reduced fees, as the investment of attorney time is very substantial for such a case. Therefore, you are right that you are likely going to have to proceed pro se
In order to subpoena people in to testify, you will first need to file your case. Because of limited funds, you will not be able to afford to do depositions prior, as you will not be able to afford to pay for transcripts of those depositions. Because you will need to subpoena them to testify, you will need a trial date before the subpoenas are issued. If they are willing to testify truthfully and not commit perjury, they may help you show inclination, depending upon behaviors they have seen (kissing, holding hands, etc.). It would be helpful if you could talk to the people you wish to subpoena ahead of time, to determine what testimony you might be able to get out of them under oath.
You may file your pleadings based upon your information and belief, and therefore you do not need to have all of your proofs in final form at the time of filing.
You may wish to simultaneously file a petition for temporary relief, when you file your petition for dissolution. In that you would ask for the payment of spousal support
and attorney's fees. The court may not grant either request, but it might. If it does grant you temporary spousal support
while your case is pending, that will be of great help to you.
You may also wish to ask the court to waive its filing fees by simultaneously filing a petition to proceed in forma pauperis (meaning you are poor and cannot afford the filing fees).
When you file the petition(s) in court, at that time you also do the summons. The petitions and summons should be served by the sheriff's department.
Given the circumstances you have outlined here, I think that you may also want to consider bankruptcy.
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Gloria M Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely informational and educational.
Fees I receive for answering questions are paid for information, not legal advice. This forum is designed to provide only general information, to give you a basis of knowledge. You and I have not entered into an attorney/client relationship, and I am not responsible for your legal rights. The only way for us to be in an attorney/client relationship is if you have signed a written retainer agreement with my law firm, and I am only licensed to practice law in Illinois. You should consult with legal counsel in your area for specific information relevant to your situation.