Are there any services to get divorced for free?
Here’s a great blog article contributed by Zooomr, a top rated NYC car lease brokerage techstartup. If you don’t have much money saved up or your spouse controlled all the finances, you may be wondering how you can pay for a divorce.
There are ways you can get divorced for a much lower cost, or possibly at no cost. You can also save quite a bit if you and your spouse file for a no-fault divorce without lawyers, but this may not be a smart move unless you two are able to come to an agreement on everything.
Here’s what you need to know about saving money during the divorce process. Keep in mind that some aspects of getting divorced will depend on your state.
How to Get Divorced at No Cost
The easiest way to get divorced is for you and your spouse to complete your own divorce agreement and file the necessary paperwork without lawyers. Every state has no-fault divorce available, making it simple for the two of you to divorce on grounds of irreconcilable differences.
Now, there are still typically fees for filing the necessary divorce paperwork. You could ask your spouse to file and pay the fees, if he is willing to do that. If not, you can also look into fee waiver programs offered by your state.
There may be several forms that you need to file during the divorce process, and any mistakes on these forms could cause issues. You can consult with a legal document preparer for assistance. Legal document preparers can’t give legal advice like a lawyer can, but they are able to help you prepare your divorce forms correctly. They typically charge a few hundred dollars. For an uncontested divorce, this can be an inexpensive option that ensures the process goes smoothly.
If you need a lawyer, check out funding programs that provide subsidized legal service. Another option is checking with the bar organization for either your local community or your state and searching for pro bono divorce lawyers.
Remember that with fee waivers, funding programs and pro bono divorce lawyers, you must be able to demonstrate a financial need. These aren’t available just because you want to cut costs. You may need to have proof of income, proof of assets and previous tax returns.
Getting Funding for a Lawyer
It’s great if you and your spouse can agree to everything regarding spousal support, division of assets and child custody, but in many divorces, this isn’t the case.
It’s almost always in your best interest to hire an experienced divorce lawyer to represent you. Your divorce lawyer can help make sure that your divorce agreement is fair. There’s also the possibility that your spouse hides assets. You may have difficulty catching this if you and your spouse handle the divorce on your own.
The challenge is finding a way to pay for your divorce lawyer. Depending on your financial situation compared to your spouse’s, the court may rule that your spouse needs to pay for your lawyer. This may not happen, though, because you’re typically responsible for your own lawyer’s fees. Even if the court does make your spouse pay, they may only need to do that after the trial, not upfront, which means you’ll be footing the bill first.
If there is a large amount of property and other assets to divide, one option is investors. There are groups of investors who pay for divorce lawyers in exchange for a portion of the assets you receive in the divorce.
You could also sell assets to cover your lawyer’s fees. If you want to sell marital property, you’ll need the court’s permission to do so. Often, the court will let you liquidate property to cover your lawyer’s fees during the trial, and then reduce your share of the property by however much you had to sell.
Going Over Your Options
A divorce can be stressful enough even before you look at the financial side of it. But you don’t want to end up with an unfair divorce agreement because you focused on getting divorced for as little money as possible.
Even if you don’t have much money, you can meet with a skilled divorce lawyer for a consultation. He can give you advice on your situation and provide information on what options are available to reduce your costs. Don’t just consider the upfront cost of a lawyer – consider how much it could cost you not to get one.