“What if I can’t afford a divorce lawyer?”
With the average cost of a divorce attorney reaching over $11,000 per person, you’re likely to ask yourself that question.
Divorce is a painful process, and the cost of an attorney doesn’t make it easier. Lives are already upended, and financial stress only adds to the painful situation.
Fortunately, there are a few options to consider so you can pay a divorce attorney. Keep reading to learn what to do if you can’t afford a divorce lawyer.
1. Work With the Attorney
Ask your attorney if they’re willing to work with you and allow you to pay on a payment plan. Divorce attorneys can also work with you on a limited basis.
In that situation, they can advise you on complex issues such as a special needs trust and you handle other areas of the divorce.
2. Agree With Your Ex
You could drive down the cost of your divorce simply by coming to an agreement with your ex. That’s not always possible, but it is worth consideration.
You can speak to each other, go over all of the issues, and come to an agreement to simplify the process.
3. Utilize All Resources
If you want to pay for an attorney, then you’re going to need to get creative. You could take out a personal loan to pay for the divorce lawyer. You could run up your credit cards, but this should be a last resort.
Also, you can ask friends and family members for help. A GoFundMe campaign would be a good way to help yourself and allow others to help you.
4. Separate Without Divorce
It is possible to have a legal separation without finalizing the divorce. You still need to come to an agreement and file separation papers.
These documents outline issues such as custody, alimony, and property allocation.
5. Order Your Ex to Pay
If you can’t come to an agreement and all of the options don’t work, you could use this as an option. This is something that is done by court order.
This is a possibility in some circumstances. For example, if your soon-to-be ex-spouse earns a living and you are at home as a caretaker, this might be an option.
A judge might assign a court-appointed attorney, but if you don’t qualify, then this is your next best step.
What If I Can’t Afford a Divorce Lawyer
“What if I can’t afford a divorce lawyer?” You don’t need to ask that question out of fear anymore. If you can’t afford a divorce lawyer, you do have options available to you.
You can work with an attorney on a limited basis, such as a DIY approach with the attorney giving you guidance. You can come to an agreement with your ex, which lowers the cost of divorce.
If that can’t happen, you can choose to separate or have your ex pay for your legal fees.
For more legal tips, be sure to visit the Family Law section of this site.