Finding an Affordable Divorce Lawyer

Personal Finance
Estranged couple working with an affordable divorce lawyer.

Going through a divorce can often be a stressful and difficult experience that comes with many questions. Perhaps you have never appeared before a judge and are unsure of how to proceed. Maybe you are unsure of what your legal rights are. Finding a qualified divorce lawyer is the first step to getting through the process of divorce, and there are a number of ways you can select the best person to affordably represent you.

References from Friends and Family

References from friends or family members who have gone through divorce is a good place to begin your search for an attorney. If someone you know had recommends a divorce lawyer, chances are that you may also have a positive experience. A friend or family member who has been a client can also help you understand the fee system in place if you work with the same attorney. If you attend services at a religious organization, some of your fellow members may help you find legal services in your area. You may even be able to receive a discount by going to a lawyer who is part of your congregation.

Pro Bono Services

Some attorneys are dedicated to providing pro bono legal services to their communities. These legal professionals are often retired and simply enjoy providing legal services at little or no cost. You can find pro bono divorce lawyers by contacting a Legal Aid Services organization or your local state bar association. These groups frequently maintain lists of attorneys who provide pro bono or low-cost services.

Establish a Support Network

Some clients make the mistake of frequently calling a divorce attorney for emotional and moral support. You should be aware that your divorce attorney may bill you for these conversations. These fees can quickly add up if you make it a habit of calling your attorney every time you feel overwhelmed. Instead of contacting your lawyer for emotional support, you should speak with friends and family members.

Work with a Private Practitioner

Private practitioners may be able to handle your divorce case for a smaller amount of money. The problem with hiring attorneys from large law firms is that you may be subject to excessive “billable hours” and owe a large sum at the end of your case.

File For Divorce Online

This is a newer option, and it isn’t available everywhere, but in some states, you can initiate the divorce proceedings online. When you file for divorce online, you save some of the expenses of a lawyer. You can also find software that can help you draw up papers that will at least get you started. The more you can do on your own, the fewer “billable hours” you’ll need to worry about, so you can spring for the more expensive lawyer with more experience instead of the new kid on the block.

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