Finding legal help or a lawyer can be expensive nowadays. Advance retainers can cost you around $5,000 and many lawyers charge $300 per hour. Unless you have a good income and substantial savings, finding legal professionals for divorce proceeding is likely out of your financial capacity. However, you can still seek help from some lawyers and other legal service agencies.
Couples who have been in a short marriage (5 years or less), have no children and share no substantial assets can be considered for an uncontested divorce. A divorce that is uncontested is one where neither of the couples objects the divorce. There is no need for the court to come up with the verdict regarding issues related to alimony payments, child support, and property division.
They may be able to use summary or truncated procedures so that they can obtain a divorce without paying substantial fees other that the court filing fees. If the couple does not qualify for an uncontested divorce, they are left with no choice but to retain an attorney within their means of income, or seek legal help from other parties if they are low income.
This article will discuss some of the ways on how to find a divorce lawyer for low-income families.
How to Find a Divorce Lawyer for Low Income Families
In most parts of the country, many divorcing couples do not have the means to acquire an attorney.
Here are some of the ways to acquire legal help at a fraction of the cost or free of charge.
• Federally Funded Programs
There are numerous national networks of legal service offices funded by federal grants that offer free legal help in many civil cases intended for low-income people. You can ask some legal help regarding divorce and other cases from experienced paralegals and staff attorneys. The majority of legal aid office only offer support to people with income below a certain level. Some federally funded programs also consider all your assets first regardless of your income.
• Pro Bono Programs
Many bar associations offer pro bono programs with the help of lawyers who are willing to provide their legal service free of charge to eligible clients. You can qualify in a pro bono program if you belong to the low income bracket, have aids or a senior citizen. As with legal service programs, you need to provide valid proof of your income level and the total value of your assets.
• Self-Help Clinics
There are some local and county bar associations that offer self-help clinics to low-income people. You can get to talk with lawyer volunteers. They can help you out by answering some of your legal questions and filling out forms. These self-help clinics are usually held weekly or monthly. You may get to talk with the lawyer individually or as a part of a large group.
Finding a divorce lawyer for low-income families can be frustrating. However, you need to patiently deal with pro bono lawyers as they usually work on large caseload or help many low-income clients aside from their regular clients. You also don’t need to worry as these people can help you out despite your financial capacity. They do not look down on their financially incapable clients as they have to deal with so many people with similar kind of situation in the past or they themselves have gone through the same financial woes in the past.