How can I get divorced if I can’t afford a lawyer?
We get it – Divorce is expensive. Hiring a lawyer and litigating your case all the way to trial can cost thousands of dollars. Not everyone has thousands of extra dollars sitting around waiting to pay a lawyer.
Here at Herlihy Family Law, we pride ourselves on providing a highly customized, concierge level of service, guiding our clients every step of the way from their initial consultation through their final order and sometimes even beyond.
However, we appreciate and understand that level of service may be out of reach to some clients due to the expense involved, so we have developed some new, lower-cost options to serve clients who still deserve excellence but at a more approachable price point.
What are these options?
Do-It-Yourself Uncontested Divorce
An Uncontested Divorce is filed based on an agreement signed by both parties, which includes all items that need to be addressed in the divorce, from division of assets, to the sale of the homeplace, and payment of debts.
You may have heard of national companies that sell various legal documents, from uncontested divorces to wills to incorporation documents.
This idea sounds great in theory, but we have represented many clients who have purchased uncontested divorce documents from one of these companies, only to find the documents are not in compliance with state and local rules. They end up having to hire us to fix the incorrect paperwork and often end up spending more money.
To address this problem, we have developed a package that you can purchase from Herlihy Family Law if you are filing an uncontested divorce in Mobile County, Alabama, with no minor children involved.
Our uncontested divorce package is in compliance with state and local rules and we provide you with instructions on how to complete and file the forms yourself.
This option works best for people who do not have complicated assets, or maybe even have no joint assets with their spouse, and feel that they do not need legal advice, they just need a divorce!
As of December 2023, we are excited to offer this package for $500.
Again, this option involves purchasing the forms required to file your own uncontested divorce, but it does not include legal advice or representation.
Limited Scope Representation
Herlihy Family Law is also now offering limited scope representation. Limited Scope Representation means that you are being represented by an attorney but only in a limited and specified capacity, which is agreed upon by the lawyer and client in advance.
Limited Scope Representation could be beneficial to you if you have a contested divorce case, where there is not an agreement between the parties on how to resolve the divorce, but you do not have sufficient funds to retain a lawyer to take your case all the way to trial.
Our Limited Scope Representation package includes the drafting of your initial complaint or motion, if you are the Plaintiff, or your answer and counterclaim, if you are the Defendant.
It also includes the preparation of discovery questions for you to send to the opposing party to answer, as well as the preparation of your discovery answers if discovery was sent to you.
In general terms, “discovery” is questions you have to answer and documents to have to provide regarding your income, assets, debts, specific allegations you are making, and evidence that you may use in a contested divorce or other family law case.
Even if you feel capable of representing yourself at trial, it can be extremely difficult to get through the discovery process without legal help.
Limited Scope Representation does not include Herlihy Family Law filing anything with the Court for you, or any communication with the opposing party, nor would we appear in court on your behalf.
As of December 2023, this Limited Scope Representation Package will be available for a flat fee of $2500.
If you are interested in learning more about these lower-cost options from Herlihy Family Law, please call our office at 251-432-7909.
Author: Alison Herlihy
Family law attorney Alison Herlihy is a native of Mobile, Alabama. Alison has engaged in the private practice of family law since 2005, focusing primarily on domestic relations, divorce and child support, child custody law, adoption law, juvenile, probate practice, and wills.
Alison Baxter Herlihy earned the prestigious AV Preeminent peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which recognizes attorneys for the highest levels of legal ability and professional ethical standards. Alison is a certified Guardian Ad Litem. In 2015, Alison became a Registered Mediator on the Alabama State Court Mediator Roster, in both general and domestic relations mediation.