Getting Legal Protection For Your Divorce
Divorces are expensive, even when they’re completely uncomplicated. Lawyers and court fees add up, especially if your ex is unreasonable. It’s a common problem that divorcees can’t afford a divorce lawyer even though they desperately need one to legally protect themselves. Anything can happen unexpectedly, and the divorce can instantly change depending on:
- How you get divorced or separated
- Your lawyer
- Where you live
- Variables like children
- Assets like property and children
- The amount of tension and collaboration between you and your partner
There’s always the option to try and do your divorce on your own without legal representation, but you may not get the full legal protection you deserve.
Most lawyers charge a retainer of $3,500 to $10,000 per spouse, and this is only the first fee you will have to pay. Most people don’t have that kind of money to spare. Luckily, there are some ways you can get a divorce lawyer and get all the legal protection you deserve, even if you can’t afford a lawyer.
3 Ways To Get Legal Protection For Your Divorce
Even if you can’t afford a lawyer, most lawyers will give you a free consultation. Make sure you visit a lawyer your ex hasn’t seen, as it’s illegal for a lawyer to meet with you if they’ve already consulted with your ex.
When you meet with your lawyer, explain the basic details of your separation. Your lawyer will recommend several routes such as:
- Limited scope representation
- Finding legal aid through your local courthouse or bar association
- Offering resources and programs from legal aid societies
- Taking the case to a local law school for representation
- Staying legally married, but remaining separated
There are thankfully many options available if you cannot afford a divorce lawyer, but still need legal protection.
Limited Scope Representation
A divorce lawyer won’t likely offer you free services, but they may offer you discounted services. You can still get legal protection for your divorce, but it’ll be much more affordable since you may not get full legal representation. These options include:
- Reduced hourly fee
- Limited scope retainer
- Unbundled services
- Legal advice
Lawyers who offer unbundled services or a limited scope retainer will help you with a specific part of your case. This is helpful for divorces with not as many variables like kids, property, or debt. For example, your divorce lawyer would make sure all your paperwork is done correctly, and you get everything you’re legally entitled to. However, your divorce lawyer would not represent you during mediation.
Having a limited scope reduces your divorces’s legal fees, and is completely manageable if you do not go to court. Your lawyer can help you with some of the following:
- Legal advice
- Document preparation
- Coaching or mentorship with your case
Also Read: 7 Tips For Handling A Difficult Divorce
Separation Without Divorce
There are two types of separation: simple separation and legal separation.
For a simple separation, there is no legal intervention. If you have no other variables like children, debt, or property, simple separation is the easiest and most affordable route.
In a separation, you can walk away from the marriage as swiftly and painlessly as possible, but you’re still legally married. If there are still legal obligations, you’ll need to fulfill them. For example, if your ex was in an accident, you’d have to make all the medical decisions for them if they could not. Depending on your what your ex is like, this may not be the best solution.
Legal separation still requires you to file documentation with a divorce court, but there’s more legal protection from:
- Custody issues
- Child support
- Alimony or spousal support
- Property and debt allocation
This route allows both parties to actively control their spousal rights and obligations without having to go to court.
Your separation agreement must pass legal muster, so you will need a bit of help from a divorce lawyer. Your lawyer will only have to help you draft the separation agreement, so your divorce will be much more affordable if you can’t get fully divorced at this moment. You’ll still receive everything you’re legally entitled to and have more legal protections against your ex.
Also Read: How To Navigate Custody Battles
Legal Aid and Pro Bono Services
The best way to find legal aid or free representation for your divorce is by going to your local courthouse or American bar association. There, you’ll find some more affordable divorce programs.
At your nearest courthouse, see if you can find whoever is in charge of administration. Some courts offer free legal assistance to people with extenuating circumstances. Your local courthouse or bar association will have resources to help you find:
- Lawyers with free consultations
- Legal aid societies
- Programs for low-income individuals needing a divorce
- Resources for victims of domestic abuse
Even if your local courthouse can’t help you find legal representation, you can still have some of your questions answered.
If you’re a victim of domestic violence and abuse, you can find even more resources to leave your partner and legally protect yourself.
Get Legal Help
My Case Helper works with qualified and knowledgeable divorce lawyers to find you legal solutions. To get legal help with your divorce today, you can call My Case Helper to speak with a divorce lawyer in your state.