The "temporary incompetence" of clients due to their emotional state and the attorneys' paternalistic attitude toward clients create a lack of understanding on the part of both the attorney and the client. This is the legal equivalent of a ship that hits rocks, runs aground, veers off course, and possibly sinks.
Punishing court orders pelt you until you can hardly see straight. The motions keep coming; you're in court all the time. Child Protective Services is pounding down your door and your in-laws are pressing charges. You're broke; you're incarcerated; you're terrified. Sound like a nightmare? For many, it's reality.