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What if I can’t afford to pay my lawyer upfront?

March 7, 2021 NYC Divorce Lawyers

If you have been looking into the steps that you need to take to get a divorce and have been talking to a few attorneys, you might have found that many of them want you to be able to pay their fee upfront. If you are short on cash, however, you could be wondering how you can do so. The truth is that the time of a separation and divorce can be trying in many ways, including financially, so you certainly aren’t the only one in this situation. Luckily, there are some steps that you can take.

Talk to Your Attorney About a Payment Plan

For one thing, if you have a lawyer in mind who you would like to hire but if you don’t have the money to pay him or her upfront, you can always schedule an appointment with the attorney to discuss your situation. Many lawyers will be more than happy to meet with you for a free consultation to talk to you about your case.

When you meet with the attorney, he or she will let you know how much you will have to pay him or her for legal services. Then, you may be able to ask about a payment plan. Some attorneys might be willing to work with you on this basis.

Ask About Pendente Lite

If your spouse has control of all of the money, you could be wondering what you can do to hire a lawyer to represent you. If you talk to an experienced divorce attorney, he or she can tell you more about pendente lite, which basically involves things like ensuring that you are protected while the divorce is going on. In some cases, your divorce attorney might talk to you about suing your soon-to-be ex-spouse for his or her legal fees.

If you do not have the money to hire a lawyer and if you don’t think that you will have the money to do so anytime soon, you could be wondering how to move forward. One option that some people look into when on a really tight budget is working through their local legal aid office to get the help of an affordable or free attorney. Costs are typically much lower than if you hired an attorney on your own, and you may not have to pay anything at all.

Of course, it is important to understand that you might not get the same results that you would get if you hired an attorney yourself. For one thing, a lot of attorneys who work through legal aid are fresh out of law school and looking for experience, so your case could be the new lawyer’s educational experience. This is not always a good thing. Additionally, a lot of lawyers who work pro bono cases are definitely underpaid and have a huge case load. This means that even if the attorney is a good lawyer who wants to give your case all of the attention that it deserves, he or she might not actually be able to.

In general, working with legal aid to hire an attorney who will work on a pro bono basis or who will charge you a very reasonable rate can be much better than a do-it-yourself divorce. This is because you will have a real lawyer working on your case who does know the law. However, if you can figure out a means of doing so, you should know that hiring a private divorce attorney is almost always a better option.

If you think that you have to have a large sum of money to hire a lawyer upfront, you should know that this is not necessarily the case at all. These are some of the options that you can look into so that you can get the legal representation that you need while going through a divorce.



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