Perhaps the best thing someone going through divorce can do is hire a reliable, knowledgeable family law attorney. The right attorney will listen to his or her patient’s goals and hopes and translate them into a strong legal strategy. He or she will be equally adept at negotiating a settlement and going to court if necessary.

So it is disheartening to learn that a woman has allegedly been posing as a divorce lawyer, handing out fake “divorce” judgments to her “clients” in exchange for “legal fees.” Fortunately, the woman is now facing criminal charges of practicing law without a license and forgery.

Prosecutors say the woman is not a licensed attorney, but claimed to be a divorce lawyer. Instead of filing divorce papers on her clients’ behalf, the woman allegedly forged a judge’s signature on divorce documents and provided these fake papers to her clients.

It is not clear how many people were victimized by this apparent scam, according to WCBS-TV. If the allegations are true, these unfortunate people mistakenly believe they are divorced, but are likely legally still married. There is a good chance that some of them subsequently married other people. Those marriages would probably be void, due to laws against bigamy, even though these “clients” believed in good faith that their prior marriages were dissolved.

It is not clear from the WCBS story the lengths to which the accused woman allegedly went to trick people into hiring her as an “attorney.” We hope that this bizarre story does not dissuade readers from hiring a reputable attorney to help with their divorce or other family law matter.