What options do I have if I don't have the money for a lawyer?
If you have decided that you want to get divorced from your spouse, you might be going through a lot already. There are often a lot of feelings and emotions that go along with getting a divorce, and you could also be worried about finances. In fact, you might be concerned that you cannot even afford to hire a lawyer to help you get your divorce. This can be a tough spot to be in, but you should know that you do not have to remain stuck in an unhappy marriage just because you are lacking in cash. These are some of the options that you can look into if you don’t have the money to hire a divorce lawyer to assist you with your case.
Handling the Divorce Yourself
Obviously, the most affordable option for getting a divorce is to do it yourself. If you search online, you will be able to find quite a few resources that will allow you to print out divorce documents that are designed to be used in your state. If you carefully follow the instructions, you can fill out these documents yourself. Then, if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse both sign them, you can file them with the court and follow the instructions that you are given there. In many cases, you will be asked to pay a filing fee. Depending on where you live, however, you might be able to ask to have your filing fee waived.
Of course, this can seem like an appealing option if you are short on cash. However, it’s important to proceed with caution when attempting to handle your divorce on your own. In many cases, you will be better off hiring a professional lawyer to assist you to help ensure that you don’t make any mistakes.
Working with a Mediator
The courts in your area might assign you to a mediator that can help you and your spouse through your divorce. The mediator will be a trained professional who is accustomed to working on these cases, but he or she will more than likely not be an attorney. The mediator can help serve as a neutral party and might be a good idea if you and your spouse are generally amicable about things in regards to the dissolution of your marriage.
Looking for Low-Cost Legal Options
In many cities, there are legal aid offices that are designed to help set up residents with the legal representation that they need, even if they can’t afford it. Through your local legal aid office, you may be able to find out about a pro bono lawyer who will take your divorce case for free, particularly if you don’t bring in much of an income. Otherwise, legal aid may be able to tell you about low-cost options in your area.
Negotiating with an Attorney
If you talk to a local divorce attorney, you can find out about his or her rates. You might find that it’s more affordable to hire a good private attorney than you think. Plus, the lawyer might be able to help with other options, such as suing your spouse for his or her legal fees.
If you want to get a divorce but if you do not have the money to hire a lawyer, you could be worried about what is going to happen next. You probably want to ensure that you are protected in your divorce, and you might also be concerned about any children that are involved. Luckily, you do have some options. These are a few things that you can look into if you are unable to pay for the legal representation that you need during this difficult time in your life.