Watching your marriage fall apart is not just sad, it’s expensive too! You are basically starting a new independent life, and that’s not cheap. These days, when many homes are underwater in value it’s difficult for separating couples to even sell their family homes in order to go through with their divorce.
And as if all that wasn’t bad enough, you have legal fees to look forward to in order to make your divorce official. It’s exhausting to even think about, financial stress alone is what causes many marriages to fail in the first place. Now that you are finally ready to close this chapter of your life, you can’t afford the fees.
You do have options besides hiring a divorce attorney. There are a range of options for you depending on your situation, needs and budget. If you have an uncontested divorce, are not in the military, and things are not overly complicated, then you can opt for a DIY divorce and handle the whole thing yourselves without the help of a lawyer. It’s pretty easy once you do your research and know what paperwork you need to file. A great starting point is your local county clerk’s office.
If you feel like you need a little help with all the paperwork then you can buy a DIY divorce kit or some DIY divorce software to help you for a tiny fraction of the cost of hiring a lawyer. The software can walk you through all the steps and paperwork as easy as a tax program like TurboTax walks you through filing your taxes on your own. Make sure the help you are getting is state specific since divorce laws are different from state to state.
If you find yourself a little lost or confused there are per-hour legal services to answer your questions for you. Just pay for what you need, like ordering ala cart! You can get discounted legal guidance from paralegals as well. Some states even have free programs that are income based and offer some free legal advice.
If your divorce is relatively easy but you have just one or two sticky spots that you are finding difficult to agree on how to handle, consider mediation. Mediation is an agreement to let a third un-bias party help you make fair decisions that are in the best interest of all involved.
Take a deep breath, and consider all options before envisioning your life trapped in your home like a princess in a tower guarded by a large dragon (your ex). There is a way out; with a little research and hard work you can afford your divorce, lawyer-free!