A Low cost divorce is like a low calorie diet.
In both “projects” – divorce and low calories low calorie diet for weight loss, the completion of the process is important, but getting a good sustainable result is even more important. In both “projects” there is a science for achieving the best outcome and a strategy that is best for each specific individual case.
Most people know that the most important issues in a divorce are:
You will find yourself in one of three different situations regarding those issues and each situation requires a different a strategy to make you’re a divorce a low cost divorce.
The first specific situation is the spouses don’t have much property, no minor children and both of your incomes are very similar, so there is not much to fight about. So, your divorce is basically a paper divorce and a low cost divorce is almost always possible. The action to take at this point is to search for and then choose a low cost divorce documents preparation company.
It could be a low cost divorce attorney, paralegal or you can prepare documents by yourself. The first and second sets of documents are not complex or time consuming to complete.
The third set of documents are more complex and would require some time and patience from you. At this point you need to consider the value of your time. If your time better spent on more valuable things than trying to figure out how to do a whole bunch of forms which hopefully you will need to do only once in your life, you should consider having it done by a professional that does it on daily basis.
The second situation is if you have properties, minor children and hope to get spousal support. In this case two different sub-situations are possible.
First, your spouse is willing to cooperate without draining money in an expensive court fight, but is not quite sure what would be fair and legally correct. In this case you still have a good chance to get a low cost divorce (but may need some help). You don’t need to retain an attorney for your case, but you strongly advised to have at least one attorney consultation for good legal advice on the issues of spousal support, property division and child custody/support. As soon as you have quality information applicable to your specific case to find someone to help with document preparation.
Third situation is you have a property and/or children and your spouse is not cooperating in coming to a mutually beneficial agreement. This kind of divorce is called a “contested divorce”. You still have a chance to make your contested divorce low-cost by using the following strategy. Begin with at least a one hour of consultation with a divorce attorney to set up realistic expectations and get a general guidance how to proceed with your paperwork at least in the first couple steps. The specific process of your divorce may not be completely predictable as you proceed further because you or your spouse might need to ask the court for some temporary orders. For example, temporary child or spousal support. It is important to build your strategy based on the action your spouse has taken in the process. If your spouse retains an attorney, it would be challenging to keep your low cost divorce under control because the opposing counsel might not be open to short-cuts or accelerated process of divorce for multiple reasons. So in order to keep your low cost divorce under control you might be able to avoid hiring an attorney for your full ( on record ) representation and find an attorney that will do limited scope representation. Using this strategy your documents prepared by a paralegal and an attorney’s representation in court.
You might wonder if you can accomplish a low cost divorce if you shall represent yourself in the court. It is possible, but risky, especially if your position is not strong regarding the issue you contested and your need some proper evidence and timely presented to the court. If your spouse is represented, it would be difficult for you without knowing rules of evidence to defend your position.
Here is another valuable advice for low cost divorce. You might want to check if you qualify for local public services for low income clients. Such services have great experienced attorneys who are committed to make a meaningful contribution to the local community providing pro-bono work. It was my privilege and pleasure to volunteer for such organization and see how grateful my clients were for my successful representation in the court and other legal help.
And finally, your low cost divorce could be done by asking the court to make your spouse pay your attorney’s fees for the interest of justice and fair representation.
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